When communicating complex treatments and regimens to patients, I frequently use analogies to help the patient understand the treatment & the clinical Trial. For instance, sometimes patients come from their surgeon and do not understand why they need treatment, as their surgeon, "Got it all." I once heard an analogy about a dandelion. If you have a dandelion in your yard, and you pluck it out - that is like surgery, if you spray weed killer on the root, that is like radiation - but even if you cannot see any more dandelions - you would still spread dandelion killer over your entire yard - to kill any seeds that may be there - like chemotherapy.
Cross Talk: Another analogy I use, is to explain cross talk within a cell. I live in the suburb of a big metropolitan area. There are many freeways leading to downtown, there is also much construction, or sometimes accidents. You can get around these by simply using another surface street, or another freeway. The path to tumor growth can do the same.
Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors: Receptors on cells that drive cancer growth can be described as light switches. When they are stuck in the on position - electricity continually is sent to the center of the cell to tell it to grow. TKI inhibitors, go into the basement (intracellular domain) and turn off the circuit breaker - stopping the signal.
These are just some of the analogies I use in talking with patients. Just wondering if anyone has others that can be helpful in explaining difficult topics to patients.