Rights: The University of Waikato Published 21 July 2007 Download

Dr Catherine Koleda, a pathologist at Wellington Hospital, talks about how it can be very hard on both doctors and patients when there is a diagnosis of cancer.


Prior to my pathology training I saw a lot of people who did have cancer and its a very, very emotional roller coaster really for many patients. Sometimes the procedures that need to be performed in order to diagnose the cancer can be very uncomfortable, they might involved needles or uncomfortable imaging tests, and then getting the diagnosis of cancer can be often a very traumatic time. The treatment of cancer can often make you feel very unwell that is why the diagnosis is so important because the treatments are sometimes so maybe invasive and uncomfortable, that you wouldn't want to have those treatments unless you really needed it. And that is why the diagnosis is so important. And then of course not only is the person who has a diagnosis of cancer affected but their whole family and friends are also emotionally affected by such a diagnosis as well.

Capital & Coast District Health Board
Louise Goossens, Wellington School of Medicine