Tell Me If This Sounds Familiar?

In Tuesday January 7 NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/06/health/06seco.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=should%20patients%20be%20told%20of%20better%20care%20elsewhere&st=cse) Denise Grady told us of a relative who needed complicated surgery to remove a cancerous growth. Her surgeon at a local community hospital told her that she would be left with no  sphincter control after the surgery which meant she would need a colostomy. After thinking about it, she decided to go to a surgeon who specialized in rectal cancer who was able to spare the sphinter muscles and all was well.

I want to share something else with you. It is just as important that the pathologist who reads your biopsy to determine whether you have cancer is a specialist. I’ll give you an example. A relative of mine was diagnosed at a local community hospital with breast cancer which required a lumpectomy and chemotherapy. She called me for my opinion and I recommended that her biopsy material be sent to a specialist in breast pathology who has written the texts used at medical schools to train pathologists in tumors of the breast. The second diagnosis came back as negative! Even a lousy surgeon would have cured her (that is, if she survived the surgery and radiation) because she didn’t have cancer to begin with! It is extremely important that you get second opinions on diagnoses, procedures, and treatment options. You need a second opinion for treatment options because  1. sometimes doctors don’t  know how to preform a certain procedure, or 2. your doctor knows your insurance won’t pay for it or 3. his treatment plan pays more than other options. Please share your healthcare nitemares with the rest of us. No matter how much money we throw into healthcare reform, if we don’t  have excellent care we won’t have good outcomes. For free stuff on taking control of your healthcare visit my website at www.kreisbergandassociate.com.

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