The Patient from Hell Podcast

Latest episode:

Episode 37: Decoding Decision-Making in Prostate Cancer (Part 2)

1. Importance of informed decision making and arming patients with accurate and reliable information.
2. Understanding the concept of patient preferences in treatment decision making.
3. Overcoming decision biases and how the emotion of a cancer diagnosis can outweigh a rational decision-making process.

Podcast — Patient from Hell

by Manta Cares

For patients, caregivers, and survivors seeking a confident way to manage complex medical conditions. We know the journey's hard because we've been through it, and we're here to make the process just a little easier.

Get inspired by survivorship stories, gain tips, tricks, and advice from medical experts, and join a global community of support and resources. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Click here for all episodes

About The Patient from Hell Podcast

The Manta Cares podcast was launched as a resource and community for patients, caregivers, and survivors navigating complex medical conditions. Our founder Samira Daswani is a breast cancer survivor raising cancer awareness and bridging the gaps between patient, caregiver, and doctor. 

Each episode of the podcast will cover a different aspect of the cancer journey. In past episodes, we've talked about the diagnosis process, forming a support team, treatment considerations, and building a strong mindset in the face of a daunting journey.

Past and upcoming podcasts feature the NCCN Foundation, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, among other national organizations at the forefront of cancer advocacy and research. Podcast guests include patients, survivors, caregivers, cancer advocacy groups, and medical experts. 

Previous episodes

September 13, 2023

Episode 36: A Brother's Gift with Wills & Esther Levy

1. The power of the time Wills’ bone marrow donation gave the family to create memories with Andrew.
2. How Esther’s maternal intuition ended the arduous path to a cancer diagnosis for Andrew.
3. Andrew’s legacy of joy in guiding the family to live without regrets and take advantage of every opportunity presented to them.

September 6, 2023

Episode 35: The Evolution of Prostate Cancer Care with Dr. David Penson (Part 1)

1. How outdoor adventures have shaped David’s view on leadership and life.
2. Recognizing the value of all roles in a group and how the sum of the parts contributes to the success of the whole.
3. The power that comes from an insecure future in fueling an adventurous spirit.

August 23, 2023

Episode 34: Nurturing the Adventurous Spirit with David Moriah

1. How outdoor adventures have shaped David’s view on leadership and life.
2. Recognizing the value of all roles in a group and how the sum of the parts contributes to the success of the whole.
3. The power that comes from an insecure future in fueling an adventurous spirit.

August 9, 2023

Episode 33: Navigating cancer as a family, with Samira’s mom Monika

1. The role of family caregivers during cancer treatment
2. How faith, intent and spirituality guided Monika’s caregiving
3. Navigating nutrition during cancer treatments

July 26, 2023

Episode 32: From Jeopardy champion to living with cancer, Jeff Stewart's story

1. The balance of living life as if you have might have months to live or you might have many years to live.
2. The power and limitations of data and how systemic biases influence the way people interpret information.
3. Life insights from Jeff’s book, “Living: Inspiration from a Father with Cancer”.

July 12, 2023

Episode 31: Unleashing the future of cancer treatments - ASCO highlights with past ASCO president Dr. Doug Blayney (Part 2)

1. What are CDK 4/6 inhibitors and why are they important?
2. How can genetic testing inform cancer treatment plans?
3. How do physicians and patients think about and integrate new scientific findings?

June 28, 2023

Episode 30: What is the ASCO annual meeting and why does it matter? Behind the scenes with past ASCO President Dr. Doug Blayney (Part 1)

1. What brings 40,000 people to Chicago for the ASCO annual meeting?
2. How does the scientific information presented at ASCO impact patients and the public?
3. The importance of transparency and trust in presenting scientific findings.

June 12, 2023

Episode 29: Fitness consistency and the importance of movement for the cancer community with Olympic gymnast and fitness expert Dave Durante

1. The importance of mental fitness to help improve physical fitness.
2. Tips for cancer survivors to regain strength and mobility after treatment.
3. The power of consistency and focusing on the process rather than the end result to achieve goals.

May 28, 2023

Episode 28: Self-advocacy in action - Inspiration from TikTok influencer KatieKicksCancer, rare cancer patient and advocate Katie Coleman

1. The power of social media and storytelling for rare cancer patients
2. The value of second opinions and shared decision making with your doctors
3. The importance of asking questions and self advocacy

May 14, 2023

Episode 27: This radiation oncologist took her patient-centric focus to the next level by creating products to improve quality of life, with Dr. Madhu Shetti

1. How to balance cancer treatment with quality of life
2. Understanding radiation oncology and holistic patient needs
3. Embracing diversity and building patient trust

April 30, 2023

Episode 26: Techniques to manage stress and uncertainty with professor and author Dr. Manuela Kogon (Part 2)

1. Defining the term “stress” and the impact of elevated distress levels
2. How uncertainty activates the brain
3. 3 techniques to manage stress and uncertainty

April 16, 2023

Episode 25: Stress, mind-body connection, and quantity vs quality of life, with professor and author Dr. Manuela Kogon (Part 1)

1. Mind-body connection and the internal & external stimuli driving stress
2. Learning to live with uncertainty, fear and trauma in survivorship
3. Quantity vs. quality of life and the the cost-benefit analysis for people living with cancer

April 1, 2023

Episode 24: Living well with cancer, reprioritizing what’s important to find balance, decision making in the face of uncertainty with Dr. Yi-wen Huang

1. Reprioritizing life after a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis
2. Navigating clinical trials and contributing to science
3. Communicating a cancer diagnosis to loved ones and finding silver linings
4. Life lessons learned in the face of uncertainty

March 18, 2023

Episode 23: Navigating pediatric brain cancer as a mom and cancer researcher, trusting motherly instinct and how best to support kids with cancer with Dr. Gayatri Gowrishankar

1. The power of imaging for cancer early detection
2. How a personal cancer diagnosis motivates and inspires professional work in the cancer research lab
3. Following motherly instinct to push for a diagnosis for your child
4. Caring for yourself when you’re a cancer patient’s caregiver
5. How to best support kids with cancer

March 5, 2023

Episode 22: Challenges and opportunities to reduce the global cancer burden, healthcare industry vs. system, and the universal power of sharing our cancer stories with Carolyn Taylor of Global Focus on Cancer

1. The intersection of art and global health
2. Universal power of storytelling to fight cancer stigma globally
3. The importance of developing culturally appropriate cancer programs
4. The difference between a healthcare system & a healthcare industry

February 18, 2023

Episode 21: Conversation with a 22-year indolent cancer patient on the power of lifestyle changes and the combination of distraction + mindfulness to surpass median survival stats

1. The unique nature of indolent (slow growing) cancer and living as a patient for +20 years
2. Examining median survival stats and Stephen Gould’s paper “The Median Isn’t the Message”
3. Nutrition modifications and the shift to a plant-based diet
4. Grappling with uncertainty using Distraction + Mindfulness
5. The evolution of treatment and imaging in her cancer over the past 21 years

February 3, 2023

Episode 20: Navigating Uncertainty, Making Decisions in the Absence of Data, Advocating & Caregiving with Jane Gutkovich of the EHE Foundation

1. The power of patient organizing and advocacy
2. Decision making for rare cancers with small amounts of data – relying on some combo of trust, faith and instinct
3. The role of the family care team to support patients
4. The evolution of patient communities from small to larger and the opportunities and challenges that presents

January 20, 2023

Cancer Financial Toxicity & Health Inequities with Rosie Cunningham of Family Reach

1. Financial toxicity is driven by a lack of transparency in the healthcare system as well as the complicated nature of cancer care.
2. Health inequities drive financial toxicity and are deeply rooted in the healthcare system
3. Tips for patients and caregivers on navigating financial challenges during the cancer experience 

January 9, 2023

The future of patient data with cancer survivor and healthcare entrepreneur Jennifer Hinkel

1. What advice would adult Jennifer give to her 17-year-old self about being diagnosed with cancer?
2. The importance and value of patient data
3. How does the recent recognition of Henrietta Lacks’ cell line and its incredible impact on science relate to digital patient data today

December 12, 2022

The art and science of personalized cancer treatment, tumor boards, and the business of healthcare with medical oncologist Dr. Gabriel A. Brooks 

1. The art and science of personalized cancer treatment.
2. What are tumor boards, how do they work, and why are they essential for cancer treatment decision-making?
3. Team-based oncology care delivery, understanding patient preferences, and providing appropriate care.
4. The business of oncology and how reimbursement influences patient care decisions. Intersectional experience as a cancer survivor across sex, sexuality, and dating.

November 28, 2022

Navigating sex, dating, and stigma during the cancer experience with Sanjay Deshpande 

1. Intersectional experience as a cancer survivor across sex, sexuality, and dating.
2. Nuances of cancer stigma in South Asia and how to navigate it. 
3. The need for creating resources specific to the South Asian Young Adult community.

November 14, 2022

Living life with an incurable brain tumor as a young South Asian with Sanjay Deshpande

1. How to live a life with an incurable cancer
2. Using creativity in moments of darkness
3. Creating a cancer support community for South Asians

November 1, 2022

Impact of sexual health, barriers in cancer care for the LGBTQ community and the evolving role of the oncologist-sherpa with Dr. Don Dizon. 

1. The changing role of the Oncologist - Starting as the Sherpa, transitioning to a mentor, and then breaking up!
2. Awareness of barriers the LGBTQ community faces in accessing healthcare.
3. The distinction between addressing reproductive health and sexual health in cancer care.

October 11, 2022

Learning to live in the moment, maximize time, a take a moment to pause. Dr. Maeve Baechler coaches 11 year survivor, Molly Lindquist, to gain clarity & make herself a priority

1. Giving yourself the permission to prioritize oneself while being a mom, wife, friend, supporter and survivor. Using the “mid-day reset,” to quieten the cancer devil on the shoulder.
2. Dr. Maeve’s coaching approach helps Molly identify her goal, drive clarity, and create actionable steps to “pause” and prioritize herself.
3. The juxtaposition of living in the moment, and maximizing time we have as cancer survivors. 

October 3, 2022

Advocating for yourself as an AYA cancer patient and paying it forward with Bay Area Young Survivors (BAYS) board member, Yvonne Tou

1. Experiencing breast cancer as an AYA (adolescent and young adult)
2. Self-care, the role of journaling and mental health as a cancer patient
3. The role and impact of community for supporting young cancer survivors and patients

September 19, 2022

Understanding the Science, Symptoms and Community around Ovarian Cancer with Karen Young from the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

1. Overview of ovarian cancer
2. Karen’s experience of building a cancer community
3. The science and symptoms of ovarian cancer; building awareness and education resources for women

September 5, 2022

Insights on Using Private Capital to Address Cancer with Investor Mark Mendel

1. Personal experience and reflections from being a caregiver
2. Understanding the survival early-stage oncology investing ecosystem
3. Emerging themes and trends in oncology innovation and patient care

August 25, 2022

Caring for Caregivers with Dr. Nirav Shah, Senior Scholar at Stanford University's Clinical Excellence Research Center

1. Nuances of understanding value-based care and the invisible care-giver economy
2. The importance of caring for caregivers
3. Insights on who the caregivers are and their experience with COVID

August 8, 2022

Understanding Community, Collaboration and Caregiving with the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Translating Research Across Communities (TRAC) Paula Kim - PART II

1. Taking PanCan global and multicultural insights on cancer
2. The art of translating a movement into a sustainable organisation
3. Importance of doing the hard and obvious things

July 25, 2022

Understanding Community, Collaboration and Caregiving with the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Translating Research Across Communities (TRAC) Paula Kim - PART I

1. Paula's learnings and insights from the early days of setting up PanCan
2. The art and science of community building
3. Nuances of interdisciplinary collaboration, personal learning and upskilling in the face of complexity

July 11, 2022

Exploring the importance of guidelines for cancer treatment

1.  Insights on the evolution of medical science, public policy and funding for cancer care in the U.S.
2. The importance supportive care, guidelines and resources, and the role of NCCN and the NCCN Foundation 
3. Framework for understanding life-span and quality of life for patients and caregivers

June 27, 2022

Is fighting cancer like playing chess?

1.  Is a chess analogy really appropriate for cancer? 
2. Pros and cons of thinking of cancer in the form of infinite games 
3. Nurturing ambiguity and making high stake decisions

June 13, 2022

The art and science of making cancer treatment decision(s)

1. Are metaphors like “infinite games” valid for approaching cancer care? 
2. Developing your strategy when everything seems uncertain and unclear 
3. The importance of rethinking assumptions

May 23, 2022

Understanding the cancer caregiver ecosystem

1. What does the caregiver ecosystem really mean
2. Second order effects of being diagnosed with cancer
3. Exploring different strategies to grapple with the crisis

April 26, 2022

Being diagnosed with cancer

1. The emotional, psychological, and financial costs of cancer diagnosis
2. Principles of building a community  of cancer survivors and caregivers 
3. Processing suffering and becoming anti-fragile

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Want to partner with us to bring high-quality content and educational resources to a special community? Does your organization want to sponsor an episode and get featured on our podcast? Have an idea for collaboration? Please reach out to Molly at

Disclaimer: This podcast and blog is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this podcast and blog or materials linked from this podcast and blog is at the user's own risk. The content of this podcast and blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard, or delay in obtaining, medical advice for any medical condition they may have, and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions.

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