Analysis

How to broach difficult subjects with your patients

Campaigner Liz O’Riordan sparked a debate on the cancer issues no one talks to patients about

Campaigner and retired surgeon Liz O’Riordan started an online conversation on the cancer issues no one talks to patients about

  • The Twitter post elicited dozens of responses from people undergoing, or who had undergone, cancer treatment
  • Most responses fell under four main themes of sex and intimacy; talking about death; fear of recurrence; and finances
  • Advice from specialist nurses on how to discuss difficult subjects, and signpost further advice and support

For Liz O’Riordan, a retired breast surgeon, it was only after she was diagnosed with breast cancer that she discovered how many concerns she needed help with that were not discussed in her appointments.

This prompted her to

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