Tag Archives: cancer

Telling Patients They Have Cancer


Prostate Cancer pic
Image: webmd.com

A hematology and an oncology physician at Optimum Oncology Hematology Associates, Matthew Taub, MD, leverages more than 20 years of medical experience to treat benign and malignant disorders in patients. Over the course of his career, Dr. Matthew Taub has developed a reputation among patients for being a compassionate and an altruistic physician.

One of the most significant moments of a patient’s life is hearing that he or she has cancer. Because of this, the way physicians deliver a cancer diagnosis is extremely important. Yet, only around 10 percent of physicians receive specific training for sharing a cancer diagnosis.

According to research, most patients would prefer receiving their cancer diagnosis at their physician’s office. Despite this preference, only about half of all patients receive their diagnosis in this setting. Roughly 18 percent are told over the phone, and another 28 percent are informed in a hospital. However, hearing the news in a physician’s office isn’t preferable to everyone. Because of this, physicians may want to ask their patients directly how they would prefer to receive bad news if their biopsy reveals cancer.

When sharing the actual news of cancer, physicians must be clear with patients by avoiding medical jargon, such as malignancy. Although there is often a desire to avoid the word “cancer,” it is frequently the best way to discuss a cancer diagnosis with patients since it leaves no room for misinterpretation. At the same time, physicians shouldn’t be too blunt, but focus instead of a patient-centered approach to sharing the news. This approach conveys hope to patients while giving them honest information about their diagnosis and connecting with them emotionally.

Finally, physicians must discuss treatment plans for their patients. This gives patients more hope about their future since it provides them with a clear pathway through this difficult time of their life. If physicians are uncertain about treatment options since they depend on the prognosis of a different specialist, they should be upfront about it. There’s no harm in telling patients that another physician can provide more details about the best course of treatment.


ASCO Highlights Recent Cancer Treatment Advances

Matthew Taub
Matthew Taub

Dr. Matthew Taub, a board-certified physician specializing in internal medicine, hematology, and oncology, possesses more than 20 years of clinical experience. In addition to his work on several medical committees, Dr. Matthew Taub holds membership in the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

For over a decade, ASCO has released Clinical Cancer Advances, an annual report detailing the year’s most significant advances in cancer treatment. The 2018 release brings focus to several Food and Drug Administration-approved therapies for their impact in the fight against cancer.

In 2017, the FDA approved pembrolizumab for use in patients with certain types of metastatic tumors. The immunotherapy drug is first in a line of tissue-agnostic therapies, treatments that work based on a tumor’s biomarkers, to be approved.

The report also chronicles improvements in targeted therapies for lung, breast, and bladder cancers and reviews the promising effects of radiotherapy and tumor-treating fields on aggressive forms of brain cancer.

NCCN Global Initiatives Making Cancer Research Accessible


National Comprehensive Cancer Network pic
National Comprehensive Cancer Network
Image: nccn.org

Board-certified oncologist Dr. Matthew Taub possesses more than two decades of experience administering care to patients with benign and malignant tumors. In his work as an oncology physician, Dr. Matthew Taub follows the industry-respected guidelines put forward by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) to evaluate treatment options for his patients.

To extend the impact of its research and initiatives, NCCN collaborates with cancer organizations around the world. In Africa, NCCN partners with the African Cancer Coalition to improve cancer patient outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa by expanding access to basic care. NCCN also has a strong presence in Asia and Europe, with more than 800,000 NCCN registered practitioners working on these continents.

To facilitate knowledge and resource sharing across its diverse membership base, NCCN translates its guidelines and content into several languages, including French, Korean, and Spanish. NCCN also adapts its guidelines to reflect regional differences in healthcare infrastructure, technology access, and genetic differences in populations.