Cancer Journal

Your treatment plan for cancer was Radiotherapy which was effective.


Toss a coin to determine the final prognosis. Heads (you live), tails (you die).

Answer the following questions in your journal.

  • What is your final prognosis?
  • How do physicians determine whether one is ‘cured’ of this type of cancer?
  • How do you feel about your final prognosis?
  • If you are ‘cured’, what follow up tests do you need?
  • Based on your final prognosis, what are your plans for the immediate future?
  • Finally reflect on the journal exercises (as a student not as a character).

Expert Solution Preview

As a medical professor, it is my responsibility to design assignments that challenge and educate medical college students. In this assignment, you will be required to reflect on the scenario provided in the content and answer each question with a thoughtful response. Remember to approach the questions from the perspective of a student rather than assuming the role of the character in the content. Your answers should demonstrate your understanding of the topic and showcase your medical knowledge. Good luck!

1. What is your final prognosis?
As a student, my final prognosis is determined by the toss of a coin. If the coin lands on heads, I will live, and if it lands on tails, I will die. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that in reality, medical prognoses are not determined by a coin toss, but rather through a careful assessment of various factors, including the stage and type of cancer, treatment response, and individual patient characteristics.

2. How do physicians determine whether one is ‘cured’ of this type of cancer?
Physicians determine if an individual is ‘cured’ of cancer by considering multiple factors. These may include the absence of cancerous cells in the body, a complete resolution of cancer-related symptoms, and the passage of a significant period without recurrence. Additionally, follow-up tests such as imaging studies, blood tests, and physical examinations are performed regularly to monitor the patient’s condition and ensure that there is no evidence of cancer recurrence.

3. How do you feel about your final prognosis?
As a student, considering the random nature of the coin toss for my final prognosis, it is difficult to ascertain my feelings. However, in a real-life situation, being faced with such uncertainty regarding one’s life can be incredibly challenging and distressing. It is crucial to acknowledge the emotional impact a prognosis can have on individuals and to provide appropriate support and care throughout the process.

4. If you are ‘cured,’ what follow-up tests do you need?
If I am determined to be ‘cured’ of cancer, regular follow-up tests would still be necessary to ensure long-term surveillance. These may include periodic imaging studies, such as CT scans or MRIs, blood tests to assess tumor markers or general health indicators, and regular physical examinations. The frequency of these follow-up tests may vary depending on the specific type and stage of cancer, as well as individual patient factors.

5. Based on your final prognosis, what are your plans for the immediate future?
As a student, if my final prognosis suggests that I will live, my immediate plans would involve focusing on my physical and emotional recovery. This would include adhering to any recommended post-treatment guidelines, such as medication regimens, lifestyle changes, or rehabilitation programs. Engaging in supportive care services, such as counseling or support groups, would also be beneficial in addressing the psychological impact of the cancer journey.

6. Finally, reflect on the journal exercises (as a student, not as a character).
As a student, reflecting on the journal exercises provides an opportunity to explore the complexities of cancer prognoses and the emotional toll it can take on patients. It allows me to gain a deeper understanding of the importance of empathy and compassion when delivering such news to patients. This exercise also highlights the significant role of follow-up tests and long-term surveillance in monitoring patients who have achieved remission or are deemed ‘cured.’ Overall, this exercise emphasizes the multidimensional aspects of cancer care, from diagnosis to treatment decision-making and survivorship.