Prognosis (予後)

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Oct 7, 2011 02:59
My friend sent me an email to ask about his problem. He and I were class fellows when we were medical college students. He is working as a medical doctor in Tokyo, Japan. He said that his class fellow in high school was suffering from a kind of cancer and he requested my friend to make second opinion for his current therapeutic strategy. Although most types of cancer are not incurable diseases, their prognoses depend on their types and stages. According to my friend’s explanation, the prognosis of his friend was quite serious. It was almost untreatable. His principal physician recommended him using very aggressive therapeutic strategy which we do not use normally. I thought that the principle doctor wanted to take a risk to save his life, because estimated prognosis was too bad and he was too young; in addition, he had his own family. Generally speaking, his age is too young to suffer from cancer. It is rare that such a young man suffer from a cancer. My friend asked me how he should answer his friend. Normally, we tell the truth to our patients and do not keep any secrets, basically. However it was too sad situation not only for his friend but also himself. Although he knew that the prognosis of his friend was serious as a medical doctor, he wanted to believe his friend would miraculously get over his disease as a friend. If I were in his position, what I should say? I did not have good answer to his mail.