BJ Miller (MD)

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Physician Hospice & Palliative Care,
UCSF Medical Center & Senior Director SF Zen Hospice


Dr. BJ Miller, Jr. is a hospice and palliative care specialist who treats hospitalized patients with terminal or life-altering illness at UCSF Medical Center.

He also sees patients in a palliative care clinic, and the Cancer Symptom Management Service, of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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Interview Summary

Palliative care physician at UCSF and senior director and advocate at Zen Hospice Project, BJ Miller looks into the changes faced by the conquerors of cancer and what to do with them.

Post cancer treatment, the body is in physical, metabolic, emotional and even spiritual fall-out. There may be pain, digestive and taste issues, fatigue, mood changes. BJ likes to call this the re-entry syndrome. The sense of self has changed, and one of the ways to deal with these issues is by normalising and helping the person to be able to function as well as possible, in sleep patterns, level of contentment, and more.

To re-enter the world post-treatment, there needs to be compassion, grieving for that which is lost, and an embracing of change. This is the time to re-boot and re-invent.

He chats about a type of post-cancer rehab centre that caters for the whole person, mind, body and soul, and looks at nutrition, psycho-social support, housing, vocational rehab, and offers massage, exercise, physical therapy. This kind of support will have a marked effect on relapse, with a financial saving in the long run. These changes can become real. We can make it happen. BJ tells us how.

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