Even With Cancer, Laughter Helps

A doctor shows the power of humor in healing

patient smiling and talking with doctor

By: Mikkael Sekeres, MD

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Humor has a way of relaxing us, even in the worst situations. Few situations are worse than dealing with cancer or other serious illnesses.

Maybe that’s when we need humor the most. The release of laughter — the feeling that things are, even if temporarily, normal and OK — helps us feel we fit again in the world when the world seems turned against us.

Mikkael Sekeres, MD, Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Leukemia Program, gently kids his patients, putting them at ease and making them feel less like patients and more like people.

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In the piece “Poking Fun at My Patients,” published in The New York Times, Dr. Sekeres shows how his use of humor, shifting the mood from dark to light, works with the people he treats.

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