Saw a patient with bladder cancer who and his wife swears to me that he is cured . He is admitted with acute kidney injury and is being rounded on by oncologist and urologist daily. I reviewed his charts and found not only the cancer is still there but he also has several metastasis in spine .
What’s going on here?
Has the oncologist not been able to break the news
Has the urologist not been able to break the news
Is The patient and family in sweet denial.
Unfortunately this is not an uncommon scenario .
Sometimes the Doctors are not able to say words like “death” and “incurable”, especially oncologist . Sometimes the patients and their families tune out such words.
Being an oncologist is tough and being an oncologist who does not mince his words is even tougher . Still ,this patient needs a clear and open statement.
I guess I will have to be the bad guy .