Breast cancer—a son’s viewpoint, not a doctor’s. . .
Last year, when I was nine months into my career as a junior doctor, both my personal life and family life were happy and normal. And then my family’s lives were turned upside down when my mother was recalled by the breast cancer screening programme, biopsied, and diagnosed with grade 2 ductal carcinoma. The consultant sat down and broke the bad news, explained the next steps regarding undergoing lumpectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy, and answered any questions we had. We left the cancer centre hand in hand.
Having completed a four month job in breast surgery, and having a special interest in oncology and palliative care, this experience was too close for comfort. A little knowledge is dangerous, and the facts, figures, and permutations of all the studies I had read were unsettling. Being on the other side of the table as a patient’s relative was not a