A recent New York Times article discussed one
debate in the medical community about the word "cancer." The
article addressed those who are diagnosed with Stage 0 cancer,
where cells are found to be abnormal, but do not pose an immediate
threat of spreading or becoming more threatening.
Susana's blog from December
22 addressed patient uncertainties surrounding cancer
communication in prevention, screening, and treatment. When
discussing results with a patient, even using the words "abnormal
cells" can strike fear and anxiety in a patient. While clinicians
need to communicate clearly to the patient what their diagnosis
means to help reduce uncertainty, should Stage 0 cancer still be
called cancer? If not cancer, what should it be called?
Senior Research Assistant, CCRC