Auntie JoanBMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7478.1335 (Published 02 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1335
- Richard Ashford, consultant clinical oncologist
- Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, Northwood, Middlesex
I never met Joan, but she was the favourite aunt of one of my close friends, and she died recently. My friend will miss her; he told me she was young at heart, had a wicked sense of humour, and always had a twinkle in her eye. She was loved by all her family—everyone's favourite aunt. She had lived by the seaside and had a happy life—but she grew old, as we all must, and, finally, she was admitted to one of the local district hospitals ill and anaemic.
It was clear she had some form of advanced malignancy, and an oncology opinion was needed. As is often the way, however, …