Friday, June 17, 2011

Air Getting to Cancer

Three times today I had to explain the same thing. In each case, a patient had a lymph node that was suspicious and I was asked to remove it for a biopsy. In each case, the pateint at first refused because he/she had heard that once you get air to those, cancer goes everywhere. I try to explain that cancer does not behave that way and that in those cases that they heard that about the cancer was everywhere and the biospy just proved it. It is hard because I dont want them to think that the cancer is everywhere becuase we hope that it is just in the single lymph node but you can never tell. It always seems that no matter what, if the node is positive, the pateint will think that you spread the cancer because you got air to it.


rnraquel said...


SeaSpray said...

The first time I heard that I was dating my husband ..way back when. :) he said his uncle got cancer because of an injury to his leg, when they opened him up to repair it they found the cancer and the air caused it to spread. This was 1973. So, that must've been the family story. I've heard other people mention the air theory since. But, also saw that people survive it.

I have a friend in stage III (last I knew) lung ca and have been bringing her to chemo and other oncology appts. I can see when this sweet Dr is with her ...she is obviously mindful of what she needs done and how she is... and *chooses her words* so as to try to always maintain my friend's hope throughout the process.

It must get really hard for you docs sometimes when you have to walk this tightrope over the verbal minefield for any condition.