repeatedly that he could have a serious kidney disease, and not cancer. The initial treatment both for cancer and for this particular kidney disease are identical
What the patient heard, however, was
blah, blah blah serious blah blah blah cancer blah blah blah treatment
So now he has filed for compensation; although nobody seems certain exactly what he he want to be compensated for. He says to the press:
But the messige of a possible cancer dominates everything. And I feel that the doctors, not an old man like me, are responsible for getting through to me. It does something to you psychologically, and you prepare for the worst.
The Government wasn't certain either, so his request for money was denied; - thank God. If patients are to be reimbursed from the government coffer because they're not paying attention we're all in trouble.
I onc was in the same situation; - I sent an old man to a chest x-ray and and got the message back "tumor metastasis probable". This meant that I had to refer him for further evaluation, and it also fell to me to explain to him why this evaluation was necessary - i. e. that I suspected him of having cancer.
The follow-up failes to produce any cancer; he wasn't al that keen on having a biopsy done of his vertebrae, eventually he died but wasn't autopsied either. So the wife filed a complaint on me. Since then, I never tell the patients anything about what I suspect, only about what I definitively know. Regularily, they ask me "but what do you think it is, doctor?", and I give them my stock answer, "It's a free country, and my thoughts are private"