Sad but true, seems to be the way most do it these days. My last diagnosis I was told on the phone too, but I had a pretty good relationship with the surgeon and I didn't mind since I was in a hurry to find out. My first time, they done the tests, a week later made me another apt. I went in and they read the results to me in person, but that was 25 years ago.
Adenocarcinoma, Lung Cancer Questions
Getting the news
Asked by Blackmama on Monday, June 3, 2013
Getting the news
Just wondering what is the ethical and medical standards these days. When I was told that I had cancer, my pulmonologist called me on the phone to tell me. And then AFTER I had gone in to see my surgeon, he called me on the phone AFTER I had left his office and told me that he had not reviewed ALL of my file until after I had left his office and while I was driving home, he told me that I have a lymph node as well that has something on it and it will also need to be removed while in surgery.
Just wondering: Isn't this abit rude, or have I been watching too many Marcus Welby MD reruns???? Thanks, Blackmama
5 Answers from the Community
This is an emotional time and we have all gone through this moment. It never gets easier. And because it is so upsetting, we can be overly sensitive. I wouldn't sweat the way this was done. At the end of the day, its better he caught the node miss than hadn't. It means that he was still thinking about you and your case even after you left his office, rather than just going on to the next patient.
Wow, the fact that your pulmonologist called you may be because she/he wanted to let you know as soon as possible to start the process of seeing specialist started. I was informed that the biopsy of my liver was a return of my Kidney cancer. I was glad to get the news by phone and the name of an oncologist who I called the next morning (I was called at 7PM as soon as my doctor heard from the pathology department) and set up an appointment. I know a lot of people prefer to be in the doctor's office when they get the news, so I think this one was just a clash of expectations.
The fact that the surgeon had not reviewed your all your files and history is in my opinion a serious lapse of professionalism, or even worse. If it were me I would consider seeing a 2nd surgeon, as I would not feel comfortable being treated my this doctor. Also a 2nd opinion can only help you get the best care and treatment plan.
I agree with SueRae. I was called on a Friday at 5:30 pm from my gynecologist. I was glad to be told over the phone because I was very emotional getting the news and looking back there would have been no way I could have driven home after being told I had cancer. My doctor answered all the questionsi had to the best of her ability and contacted my oncologist personally to get me in ASAP.
My biggest complaint is being told to expect calls over the weekend and not hearing a peep. The month of February I was told from two different doctors on Friday that they would call me over the weekend with news but never did. If you say your going to call, make the call because we are going through enough stress with the cancer diagnosis and don't need more waiting for a call over the weekend that isn't going to happen.
I received a couple of traumatic cancer phone calls, too. Both of which were at work where I huddled in someone else's office (I sit in a cubicle) and sobbed all alone. Still, I'm not sure how the information could have been better delivered. If I had been told to come in to receive the news in person is it really safe to drive in that mental state of anticipation? A prompt phone call is probably the most merciful way in many situations.
I do hate when you meet with a doctor and they are reading your records during (or after, in your case) the visit. I wish they would take 5 - 10 minutes to get all the facts straight before they meet with me.