Monday, May 5, 2014

“Treating the patient, not just the cancer”

Here’s a well-written, timely and important article article from Kay Manning that appeared in the Health & Family section of the Wednesday, April 30th 2014 Chicago Tribune. I’d give you a link, but I can’t seem to find one. If you subscribe to the digital edition, here’s the link:
These first few sentences provides a great synopsis:

    “Hi, how are you doing,” asks the oncologist in greeting the patient.
    “Fine,” she answers automatically, ignoring her fatigue and anxiety.
     This disconnect – the physician believing the patient will raise any serious concerns,   while the patient is focused on the life-threatening disease – has been all too common, but that’s about to change.

Manning goes on to quote Karen Masino, a cancer nurse navigator at Ingalls Hospital who said, “We’ve woken up to the fact that we have to look at patients holistically.”

At its core, the Manning describes how cancer centers across the country will be implementing two new care standards next year. Each patient must be screened for “distress” and referred for any help need. After treatment each must be provided with a detailed summary of care and possible side effects.

This article is chock-full of good, meaty information about looking at patients holistically – why it’s important and how it’s going to happen in the majority of cancer treatment centers starting next year.

If you find a link, please send it to me and I’ll post it for everybody.