Chat GPT Advice for Cancer Patients – It’s Marginal

I decided to have Chat GPT (AI Platform) provide 10 pieces of advice for newly diagnosed cancer patients.  The results were about as I expected (see the full text below), general, non-specific and not particularly actionable.  That said, the results did touch on some of the more important points to cover – Stay Organized, Manage Your Emotional Health and Educate Yourself About Your Diagnosis were some of the better categories mentioned by AI.

I look at these Chat GPT results much as I would look at almost all of the rest of the advice given newly diagnosed cancer patients – general ideas – all pretty helpful but really hard to put into practice without context…or more detail.  The “how” is missing.  It seems to always be missing.

It was interesting that the first sentence from the AI platform was how Chat GPT was sorry to hear of my diagnosis.  I’m not exactly sure what to make of it – AI expressing sympathy.  In my opinion, the sooner you, and everyone else, get past feeling sorry for you – the sooner you can start engaging as an effective cancer patient.  

If you are newly diagnosed, job one is to collect your thoughts – to “get yourself together” so you can engage, purposefully, as a patient.  It’s much narrower than simply seeking support from others – you have to do the work, in your own headspace, to get the long train of awful thoughts running through your head under control and, ultimately, turned around or at least neutralized.   I didn’t see this in the Chat GPT advice but it is the number one thing to do.  My book covers exactly how to do this in some detail.  Aside from all the physical challenges – this is the number one most important thing you need to work on as a cancer patient.  

My other issue with the Chat GPT results is that the list of recommendations isn’t prioritized or indexed in any way to indicate what items are more important than others or whether there is some type of sequence to follow.  In my book – “How To Be A Cancer Patient”, I have 7 concepts, presented in a specific sequence where each concept builds on success in implementing the previous ones while following the addressing the typical challenges a cancer patient sees in order of their occurrence.  

Whatever you do, spend time getting yourself together first so you can engage as an effective patient.  A clear mind when trying to engage with your care team and advocate for yourself is the best tool you can have as you walk your own cancer journey.  More people than you know are pulling for you – so go get it!

Here is the entire output from Chat GPT from my request to provide 10 pieces of advice for newly diagnosed cancer patients:


I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Facing cancer can be incredibly challenging, but remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Here are ten tips that might help you as you start this path:

  1. Educate Yourself About Your Diagnosis: Learn as much as you can about the type of cancer you have, its stage, and the available treatment options. Understanding your condition can help you make informed decisions and feel more in control.
  2. Choose the Right Healthcare Team: Ensure you have a competent and compassionate team of healthcare professionals. Don’t hesitate to seek second opinions if you’re uncertain about your treatment plan or diagnosis.
  3. Communicate Openly with Your Doctors: Ask questions and express any concerns you might have. Understanding the risks, benefits, and side effects of different treatments can help you make decisions that align with your values and preferences.
  4. Seek Support: Connect with cancer support groups, either in person or online. Talking with others who have gone through similar experiences can be incredibly helpful and reassuring.
  5. Manage Your Emotional Health: It’s normal to experience a range of emotions. Consider speaking with a counselor or therapist who specializes in working with cancer patients. They can provide strategies to cope with anxiety, fear, and depression.
  6. Focus on Nutrition and Exercise: A healthy diet and regular physical activity can improve your energy levels, reduce the risk of cancer recurrence, and aid in recovery. Consult with a dietitian who has experience with cancer patients for personalized advice.
  7. Rest and Listen to Your Body: Your body needs time to heal and recover, especially during treatment. Rest when you need to and don’t push yourself too hard.
  8. Stay Organized: Keep a file of your medical records, treatment plans, and test results. Also, track your symptoms, side effects, and questions to bring up during medical appointments.
  9. Explore Integrative Therapies: Complementary therapies like acupuncture, meditation, yoga, and massage can help manage symptoms and improve your quality of life. However, always consult with your healthcare team before trying new therapies.
  10. Stay Hopeful, But Realistic: It’s important to maintain hope and positivity, but also to be realistic about your situation. Set achievable goals, celebrate small victories, and focus on what you can control.

Remember, every cancer journey is unique. Stay in close communication with your healthcare team and reach out to your support network whenever you need help or encouragement.




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