Repeated USMLE Questions Step 1- 264

A 43-year-old man presents to your clinic for a follow up after colon biopsy taken last week. He has a history of constipation and blood in stools for 6 months. Biopsy reveals colon cancer. After you told him the bad news, he looked down and told you that constipation was not that bad. He seeks more investigations because he does not think that he has cancer.

What is the emotional stage experienced by this patient at this time?

A- Denial

B- Anger

C- Bargaining

D- Depression

E- Acceptance


The first reaction to life-threatening news is denial. Some doctors go further with more investigations to confirm the diagnosis at the patient’s request. Other stages come after and end in acceptance of the condition and following treatment.

The correct answer is A

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