Cases reported "Neoplasms"

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11/12. The 1996 Schering Lecture. An inquiry into the experience of oncology patients who leave biomedicine to use alternate therapies.

    Minimal attention has been given to the experiences of oncology patients who abandon biomedicine to use alternate therapies. This presentation explores the abandonment experience. It also examines this group's emotions, perceived stress, and coping strategies through stress theory. Congruent with past research these patients tend to be younger, attain higher education, and are interested in changing their health regimens. Analysis suggests that anger precipitates the abandonment and remains a residual force for these patients. While their expressed initial fear of cancer changes to hope with the use of an alternate therapy, the hope for cure seems to be carried to the extremes of illusion and denial of possible death. The study, conducted with a network sample, included individual interviews and a focus group. The value of this ethnography lies in the revelation that a) some similar experiences appear for patients who remain in biomedicine and patients who abandon biomedicine, and b) insights are provided for health professionals wishing to avoid situations of abandonment and wishing to facilitate estranged patients' return to biomedicine.
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12/12. Doctor-patient relationship in oncological illness: the "talking medicine".

    For any physician, sympathetic interaction with his/her patients should remain a central concern. It is his/her task to understand the patient's hopes, fears, anxieties and social situation, as well as to understand himself and his own motives and attitudes, which can often be identified as helplessness. Continually advancing technology, rationalization, time, and the pressure for success leave less and less room for such considerations in medical practice. While patients often consider their medical care as very good, they, however, complain that the emotional support is often insufficient. Thus, for the benefit of both the doctor and the patient, every physician has to assure compassion in his relationship with the patients. Medical doctors taking care of cancer patients do not need only thorough medical training but also additional training in psychosomatic medicine.
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