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Coping with a diagnosis of breast cancer

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 09 September 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:692

EDITOR,—I read Ann McPherson's article with a great sense of empathy.1 Six months ago I too was diagnosed as having breast cancer, and her description of the “investigation process” and the emotions she felt at the time brought back vivid memories. I am pleased that her diagnosis was handled with understanding and sympathy. For me it was very different—something it still hurts to talk about—and I now see the relevance of the increased emphasis that is placed on communication skills in the undergraduate curriculum. It is a shame that some of the more distinguished consultants are not invited to attend these seminars.

The first weeks after my diagnosis it was as if life had overtaken me in the fast lane. …

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