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Clinical Crossroads Update
March 22/29, 2000

A 43-Year-Old Woman Coping With Cancer, 1 Year Later

Author Affiliations

From the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Ave, LY318, Boston, MA 02215.

JAMA. 2000;283(12):1614. doi:10.1001/jama.283.12.1614

In February 1999, at Psychiatry Grand Rounds, David Spiegel, MD, discussed coping strategies used by patients with cancer and evidence regarding the efficacy of positive attitude, psychotherapeutic intervention, social support, and complementary treatments.1 Mrs K, a 43-year-old woman with metastatic breast cancer, described herself as an optimist and said, "I'm not looking at this as a death sentence. I'm looking at it more as an adventure. . . . I absolutely believe I will live longer because of the positive stuff I'm doing—no question in my mind." Mrs K participated in cancer support groups, exercised, and practiced qi gong for relaxation. She died of her disease in May 1999, leaving behind her husband and 5-year-old son. We asked Dr B to update us about the year since the conference.

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