Doc, how much time do I have?

C. L. Loprinzi, M. E. Johnson, G. Steer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


From these close-to-life examples of how experienced oncologists foretell prognostic information in a grim situation, we can glean the following components that should be considered in answering the proposed question. Acknowledge uncertainty. - Foretell a general, realistic time frame. - Provide realistic hope. - Recommend 'doing the things that should be done'. - Provide realistic assurance that you'll be available to help the patient through the dying process. - Refer for emotional and spiritual support in 'dying well'. - Ask patients what they want to accomplish. - Encourage additional questions. Physicians want to help their patients live, not die. But for those situations where the outcome cannot be prevented by their skills, we trust this piece will serve as a nidus for reflection and discussion as oncologists, and other physicians, address the question, 'Doc, how long do I have?'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-701
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 14 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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