A word out of placeBMJ 1999; 319 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7217.1105 (Published 23 October 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1105
- Solomon Almond, senior registrar
Some two years ago we looked after a man in his late 40s who had had unremitting pleural pain for several weeks. His chest radiograph revealed marked pleural thickening in the distribution of his pain and he had a history of exposure to asbestos dust. We suspected mesothelioma and told him and his family that this was a possible diagnosis and requested permission to carry out a biopsy.
Neither our patient nor his relatives had heard of mesothelioma, but while he was in hospital and unwell his wife busied herself finding out about the disease. She quickly concluded that the diagnosis of mesothelioma was, unfortunately, likely and that this being the case, she preferred her husband to be spared the knowledge of the worst aspects of the condition. She …