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Cancer Care Chronicles
August 18, 2016

Mixing Metaphors

Author Affiliations
  • 1Tel Aviv University School of Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 2Schwartz Center for Health and Spirituality, Jerusalem, Israel
JAMA Oncol. Published online August 18, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.3009

“You are the most fascinating individual!” we heard ourselves exclaim to our 86-year-old patient. When she received an early-stage breast cancer diagnosis in 2004, editorial opinion1 advocated that elderly patients forego radiation treatment and make do with lumpectomy alone. Edith disagreed. A feisty veteran, she had served multiple tours of duty with the Israeli army. She did not care whether we “cluster bombed or carpet bombed her chest” so long as we used the most modern oncologic weapons to prevent recurrence. A 6-week course of intensity-modulated radiation therapy ensued.

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