Views & Reviews Medical Classics

C: Because Cowards Get Cancer Too . . .

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 29 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1377
  1. Peter M Ellery, foundation year 1 doctor in diabetes and endocrinology, Diabeticare, The Hillingdon Hospital, Uxbridge UB8 3NN
  1. p.m.ellery{at}

“Tell anyone that you have cancer and what they’ll hear is that you’re about to die. Why would they not? It’s what you heard when you got the diagnosis, after all.” These words are now over 10 years old, but John Diamond’s account of medicine’s most feared illness remains as fresh, insightful, and poignant as when it was first published. A British journalist and broadcaster, he was diagnosed with cancer of the throat in 1997, and used his weekly column in the Times newspaper to chronicle the course of his illness. This is the book that arose from these efforts. It is more than simply a journal: Diamond tells his story interwoven with vignettes …

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