Hear candid conversations between people conquering cancer – patients, their family and friends, and doctors and researchers working to help us all.
A New Perspective
“People talk about how, especially in oncology, the more you let someone in, the harder and more profound you feel losses, the more prone you are to getting burned out,” explained Dr. Shroff.
The understanding of the process for patients, and especially the family members helping with their care, changed when both doctors experienced it themselves.
“I can’t believe I didn’t realize it until I saw my mom taking care of my dad for a very extended and intense period of time,“ said Dr. Shah. “I really began to not only speak to the patient, but the caregiver, and I really started to see it from both their perspectives.”
Likewise, Dr. Shroff changed the way she explained risks to patients after her mother experienced hearing loss from chemotherapy during her lung cancer treatment. And after experiencing the angst-filled wait for test and scan results, both doctors began prioritizing reporting results to their patients.
“I am willing to let them in a little bit. They have access to me, not just my clinical team,” said Dr. Shroff, who now calls and texts patients with results. “When it was my mother, I needed to hear from the doctor.”
The role reversal also changed their views on clinical research and the contributions patients make to science in their own effort to survive.
“Having had a loved one have cancer and have them receive the benefits of progress that has been made through clinical research…it is always at the forefront of my mind,” says Dr. Shroff.
Dr. Shah and Dr. Shroff share how everything changed for them – and their patients - when they experienced cancer with their parents.