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Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative
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David Kissane, Barry Bultz, Phyllis Butow, and Ilora Finlay

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199238361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.001.0001

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Communication in non-surgical oncology

Communication in non-surgical oncology

Chapter:
(p.479) Chapter 41 Communication in non-surgical oncology
Source:
Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care
Author(s):

Lai Cheng Yew

E Jane Maher

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.003.0041

The perception of cancer is hugely influenced not only by the scale of the media attention, but also the language used in situations involving cancer. Cancer patients with cancer are often described as ‘victims’, ‘fighting’ a ‘battle’, and ‘surviving’ because of a ‘positive attitude’. Cancer is perceived as a feared disease because of the mortality associated with it. Similarly, while in the past the diagnosis of metastatic disease implied a rapid demise, many patients with metastatic breast and prostate cancer may have several years of good quality life. Non-surgical oncology plays an important role in almost every patient's cancer journey — either at diagnosis, during treatment, at follow-up, at recurrence, through survivorship, and even at the end of life. Discussing randomised controlled trials is one of most problematic areas of cancer communication. This chapter also examines the role of communication during treatment as well as in patients' psychosexual functioning, survivorship, and end-of-life care. It also looks at the impact of medical well-being on communication and how communication skills training can improve the mental health of physicians.

Keywords:   cancer, cancer patients, media, public opinion, communication, training, medical well-being, physicians, psychosexual functioning, randomised controlled trials

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