Patients subjected to a presumably curative procedure, usually removal of the cancer, need relatively little care after they leave the hospital; on the other hand, those with incurable cancer usually require a great deal of attention from the physician. I shall not discuss the "cured" group, except to point out that often the morale of these patients is impaired; they require strong reassurance and rehabilitation together with the usual medical procedure such as a diet high in calories and high in protein.
The physician in charge of a patient with inoperable cancer should examine the evidence to make certain, first, that the diagnosis is valid and, second, that curative procedures are really not possible. The diagnosis of cancer is sometimes incorrect, even when it appears to be obvious, and not all apparently inoperable lesions are really inoperable. These points may be emphasized by illustrative cases.
REPORT OF CASES
PALMER WL. POSTHOSPITALIZED PATIENT WITH CANCER: Medical and Psychiatric Aspects. JAMA. 1948;137(18):1583–1585. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.82890520002005
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