1. No breast biopsy is URGENT!
Panic makes wrong decisions! Calm down. The important thing is to make RIGHT decisions, not urgent! If it’s cancer in your breast, it’s already been there for years, it can wait a few more weeks.
2. Do not transfer your control over your body to “physicians”!
Your size belongs to YOU! Try to see our physicians as “guidelines”, not “decision makers”.
World Medical Association International Medical Education Rules:
Because of the complexity of the situation, or where the patient completely trusts the physician’s judgment, the patient may say to the physician, ‘do whatever you think is best’. The physician should not accept such a request immediately and should encourage the patient to make his own decision by providing the necessary information. If the patient still insists on his request, the physician should try to provide the best for the patient.
When the paternalistic (father-like) approach, which is the traditional interpretation of the patient-physician relationship, was accepted as normal, communication consisted of the physician communicating what he would do to the patient and the patient’s compliance. Today, this approach is rejected in both ethics and law! Physicians have to provide their patients with all the information they need to make their own decisions! Diagnostic methods, the course of the disease, and treatment modalities should be explained in plain language, by ensuring that the patient understands all options, including the advantages and disadvantages of each option, all questions that patients may ask should be answered, and the patient’s decision should be understood.
World Medical Association Declaration of Patient Rights:
The patient has the right to make free decisions to determine his own destiny.
The patient has the right to authorize or refuse a diagnosis or treatment procedure.
The patient has the right to obtain the necessary information to make a decision.
3. People try to help. Do not follow them unconsciously!
Everyone has an “idea”, but few have “knowledge”. Do not rely too much on word of mouth. The more people in between, the more misconceptions.
“Family council” decisions tend to be emotional rather than logical. Be determined to assess your situation on your own!
4. Don’t be fooled by information pollution!
Do not rely too much on magazine news. You can gather a lot of information from the media and websites, but it is extremely difficult to sort out the scientific ones!
5. Choose the right consultation method!
Instead of “corresponding” or “phone call” with physicians, prefer to meet “face to face”!
Gathering information via the Internet or telephone may seem free, easy, practical, and very smart, but the real cost can be very high!
6. Make sure you consult the expert in the right field!
Ask radiology experts for comments on radiology!
7. Try to understand the nature of the professional relationship between your physicians!
The physician is obliged to cooperate with other physicians who provide the best health service to his patient. This collaboration is called “teamwork,” but unfortunately it is often misinterpreted. The main reason why radiologists cannot object to inaccurate examinations requested by other physicians, avoid fulfilling their responsibilities to make a definitive diagnosis and making face-to-face explanations to patients, is the concern of blocking the “fields of influence” of other physicians, whom they see as “the owner of the patient”! In such cases, you are more likely to get hurt! Does your radiologist satisfactorily explain directly to you, face-to-face? How willing is he to answer your questions and discuss the topic? What would he want for himself or for the most beloved woman in his life, if faced with a situation similar to yours?
8. Consult other physicians, but carefully!
Try to see and understand possibilities from all sides. Doesn’t mean what everyone does is right! Pay more attention to what your logic says than what the majority says! To be able to think critically, you need different opinions, not the majority!
The understanding that the physician is “the patient’s owner” has lost its validity. Patients have the right to receive opinions from all healthcare professionals!
9. Speak openly with your physicians. Make sure you get answers to all your questions!
With the effect of an unexpected news, your psychological state may make it difficult for you to perceive and remember the spoken words correctly. When you read enough and think critically, your questions will become clear. Write them down. Then make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the issue again. Bring your spouse or friend to this appointment, who is involved in your research and is reflecting on your situation with you. Listening and observing by two people instead of one makes it easier to vary questions, remember what was said, and have useful discussions.
10. Your doctors are people too!
The patient-physician relationship is the human-human relationship. Remember that communication is two-way. Your physicians also have moments of being overwhelmed, emotional, or inattentive. Moreover, no one can work at the same efficiency all the time. Try to be unbiased and understanding. If you think that your meeting was not productive or that you do not understand each other well, you can suggest meeting again on a different day.