A: Dr. Harness Answers the Question

In this clip, Dr. Jay K. Harness shares a personal story of how his own daughter's breast cancer scare helped him to better understand and connect with his own patients.

This information should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use the information provided on this site solely at your own risk.  If you have any concerns about your health, please consult with a physician.

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>>>DR JAY HARNESS: On almost a daily basis, one of the things that I have to deal with
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is fear. My patients come to me incredibly fearful, and I want you to know that I am
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not immune to not only their fear but also my own fear.
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Let me share with you a personal story. About a year and a half ago my daughter Debbie,
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who is my middle child, was in the last few months of her pregnancy and she called me
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very panic stricken. She felt a lump in the extreme upper outer aspect of her right breast,
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and of course as a breast cancer surgeon what jumps into my head is that ‘oh my gosh,
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my daughter has breast cancer’, and of course rapidly going through my brain are all the
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things that needed to be done, and it was incredible sense of fear that I had for my
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daughter, and that fear is exactly what my patients fear themselves every day.
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I was fortunate. I was able to get a hold of my old colleagues at the University of
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Michigan, got my daughter rapidly evaluated, but during those hours that led up to knowing
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that she had a benign condition, I have to tell you I lived the fear that my patients
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deal with on a daily basis.
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So I am very fortunate to be a breast surgeon. I am very fortunate to be invited into the
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personal lives of my patients. I embrace their fear. I am not fearful myself. I try to share
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that with my patients but I am at very firsthand and very personal level. I really, really
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understand the fear that my patients have as well as their family members.
 
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This information should not be relied upon as a substitute for personalized medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use the information provided on this site solely at your own risk. If you have any concerns about your health, please consult a physician, or contact us for an appointment.