Toilet Paper and Cancer

The Coronovirus (Covid-19) pandemic is bringing out the best and worst in us as a society.

One of the problems is that some of us are buying huge quantities of items from supermarkets and hoarding them (or still selling them on the black markets for huge mark-up prices).

I recently had a patient who was diagnosed with breast cancer – which had spread to her brain. This was managed with steroids and radiotherapy to the brain lesions.

She was then started on tablets which block the hormones driving the breast cancer. The plan was to start her on a CDK4/6 modulating tablet along with the hormone blocker. I had planned to start her on Abemaciclib – which is the few medications which cross into the blood-brain barrier. The biggest problem being that these tablets can cause severe diarrhoea for the first few weeks.

The dilemma then being that this poor patient did not have enough supply of toilet paper – as they could not source it from any of the supermarkets.

We contacted the local supermarket and the manager was so helpful. He kept aside one box of toilet rolls for the patient. Also helped rebuild my faith in society.

She was then started on Letrozole and Abemaciclib. She is doing well as of now.

This was the first time the lack of toilet paper actually affected my decision making for patient care!!

Think about people around you. Care.

Published by

Rohit Joshi

I am a doctor who helps people deal with cancer with diagnosis and management of the illness (chemotherapy, biological agents, immunotherapy and hormonal agents).

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