Re: [MOL] Hope and Optimism [12641] Medicine On Line


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Re: [MOL] Hope and Optimism



John, reading this was a real lift. A lot of oncologists feel this way
still...but they are slowly changing. God Bless, Jeanne

At 10:42 PM 7/21/98 -0400, you wrote:
>Thanks John, I had read that article, not the response letter from Roth; but
>the article and it was appalling. Love, Auntie lil, yes you got me with the
>lilly pads!  LOL !
>
>Joicy Becker-Richards wrote:
>
>> John, thank you -- this ia great!! I plan to make copies, and pass it on
>> to as many people as possible! Should be must reading for all those
>> dealing with people with cancer, as well as cancerers. Love, Joicy
>>
>> John wrote:
>> >
>> > Many of the members of our family are in need of hope.  I ran across this
>> > letter by the "R" in H&R Block...Mr. Richard Block.  I hope that it gives
>> > some ray of hope and optimism to us all.
>> >
>> > God Bless.
>> > John
>> >
>> >     ---------------------------------------------------------------
>> >
>> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> >  Letter written by Richard A. Bloch (co-founder and Honorary Chairman
>> >   of the Board of H&R Block, Inc. He now heads the R. A. BLOCH CANCER
>> >                              FOUNDATION)
>> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> >                             June 12, 1998
>> >
>> > JAMA this past week (June 3, 1998) carried an article about a study
>> > showing cancer patients are excessively optimistic. I don't object to
>> > the study. I think it is wonderful that cancer patients are
>> > optimistic, as they should be. But the problem is that Associated
>> > Press picked it up and implied that optimism for a cancer patient is
>> > bad. The AP article put in quotes, "Far too many patients are fighting
>> > a battle they cannot win, and not taking advantage of good end-of-life
>> > care." The article was shocking! I wonder how many innocent cancer
>> > patients will die needlessly because of it. It is difficult enough for
>> > a physician to give treatments to an apparently healthy individual and
>> > make them ill with less than a 100% chance of success. This publicity
>> > will encourage doctors to withhold potentially lifesaving treatments
>> > resulting in certain death. What in the world was gained?
>> >
>> > And that is only looking at the life and death side and ignoring the
>> > quality of life. I know from personal experience that when I was told
>> > I was terminal with 90 days to live and nothing could be done, my
>> > quality of life sank to an all time low. It became nonexistent. When I
>> > was told there were treatments that could help, I was elated. Even
>> > when I was being made deathly ill by the chemicals, the quality of my
>> > life was far better fighting to live than waiting to die. I am an
>> > individual who had non-small cell lung cancer 20 years ago and
>> > metastatic colon cancer 10 years ago, the two types of cancer this
>> > study picked and stated should not be treated. Thank God I didn't know
>> > about this study, or at least my doctors didn't.
>> >
>> > Eighteen years ago we started a second opinion center here in Kansas
>> > City. The greatest thing that center has done in my opinion is not the
>> > lives it has saved, even though initially we believed that one out of
>> > four patients coming before the panel had their life saved by these
>> > wonderful physicians offering possibly successful treatments. The
>> > greatest benefit is that no longer are cancer patients in Kansas City
>> > told they are terminal upon initial diagnosis. They may be told this
>> > is an extremely bad type of cancer, but let's make some phone calls
>> > and see if someone can't do something about it. That's a lot different
>> > than saying, "Go home and die." We now have over 100 institutions
>> > offering second opinions around the United States, including New York
>> > City.
>> >
>> > Suppose you were able to access a machine and read the local newspaper
>> > printed six months from today. On the front page you see your picture
>> > and read that you were the victim of a drive-by shooting. You were
>> > killed the previous night! How would this help you and your family?
>> > What would this do to your quality of life this afternoon? Tomorrow?
>> > Do you believe that if you had the power to look back the day after
>> > that shooting you would have believed your life was better for having
>> > known it would happen? When a doctor tells a patient they will die in
>> > a lengthy period of time, it is like allowing them to read a paper
>> > that date in the future.
>> >
>> > Dr. Herbert Benson, a specialist in behavioral medicine at Harvard
>> > Medical School, states, "Belief is the hidden ingredient in Western
>> > medicine . . . A new drug given by a doctor who believes in it
>> > enthusiastically is far more potent than the same drug given by a
>> > skeptical doctor. . . . Clinical studies have shown that a patient's
>> > belief in a medicine can make it far more effective." Once your doctor
>> > tells you that you are going to die in six months, how effective are
>> > the treatments going to be when you trust and believe in your doctor?
>> > Patients tend to fulfill their physician's prognosis. Placebos have an
>> > undisputable proven record of success. Does this study want to condemn
>> > all those people to death?
>> >
>> > A cancer patient appeared very depressed at a meeting. Upon
>> > questioning, it was learned that he had received the state-of-the-art
>> > treatment for his disease without success and had been told six months
>> > before this meeting he was terminal and nothing else could be done.
>> > That was the last time he had seen his doctor. He is slowly wasting
>> > away. But it is not that he is just wasting away. Any conceivable
>> > quality of life he and his family had ceased on that day six months
>> > before. There were many other options available, none of which were as
>> > good as what had been taken. The physician, in order to "spare" him
>> > suffering, made the unilateral decision and taken him off all
>> > treatment. Had the doctor talked to this man and explained the
>> > situation instead of making the false statement that nothing else
>> > could be done, there is no doubt that treatments would have been
>> > tried. Whether they would have been successful or not is an unknown,
>> > but the fact that the quality of life would have been far improved is
>> > undisputable.
>> >
>> > There is no such thing as false hope for a cancer patient. Hope is as
>> > unique with each individual as a finger print. For some it is the hope
>> > to make a complete recovery. But it might also be the hope to die
>> > peacefully; the hope to live until a specific event happens; the hope
>> > to live with the disease; the hope to have their doctor with them when
>> > needed; the hope to enjoy today. Just as each case of cancer is
>> > unique, each person is different. Each individual has the right to be
>> > told all their options and then decide for themselves.
>> >
>> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> >                    Return to Cancer News on the Net
>> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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>
>
>
>--
>MZ
>
>
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