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When Ignorance Is Bliss

When patients communicate their desires, Mikkael Sekeres, MD, MS, says physicians must listen, even if that means sacrificing a firm diagnosis. A 97-year-old patient reminds him that answers aren’t always the answer.

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The Pitfalls of Promises

Facing a life-threatening illness like cancer, patients look to their physician for reassurance and hope. “The compassionate part of me aches to alleviate my patients’ fears,” Cleveland Clinic oncologist Mikkael Sekeres, MD, writes. But what happens when they want more certainty?

When the Medical News Isn’t Good

Oncologists often have to deliver bad news to their patients, but repetition doesn’t make the task any easier. Relaying complex information about test results, treatment plans, risks and survival chances is challenging, writes Cleveland Clinic oncologist Mikkael Sekeres, MD, MS — especially with patients who have comprehension difficulties.