"lack of communication"
About: Cheltenham General Hospital Cheltenham General Hospital Cheltenham GL53 7AN
Posted by Pauline Hicks
I was referred by my dentist to the clinic after they found a lump on my top palate. The doctor examined it and as it was the second tome I had been referred they said that they would do a biopsy although they were sure it was benign. A month later I returned for the biopsy which was carried out by a different doctor. The doctor gave me a letter which said that as it was benign I would not need a follow up appointment. Three weeks later I had a phone call at 9am asking why I had not had a follow up appointment and saying that they anted me at the clinic urgently the next day, I said that I could not come the next day as I was going on holiday. A few moments later they rang back saying they wanted to see me at Gloucester that afternoon. I said that I could not come as I had arranged to go out with friends. They said that it was urgent and I had to attend. I became very upset imagining the worst case scenario. I attended the clinic as requested and was seen by the doctor who carried out the biopsy who asked me why I had not had an appointment for the clinic and I explained the letter I had been given which the doctor seemed to know nothing about. The doctor went on to say that I needed some treatment and I asked the doctor what sort of treatment. The doctorreluctantly said chemo or radiotherapy. I said that having brought me to the clinic so urgently I obviously had cancer and why had the doctor not said it to which they replied that they did not like using the word. The doctor said that it was a complication of Sjogren's syndrome but that it was not life threatening. When I arrived home the doctor rang me to say that I also had thrush and they would send me a prescription for it. (The doctor had obviously forgotten to give it to me in the clinic.) The doctor also asked me if I would like a copy of the letter they were going to send and I said yes. It was a week later when I got back from holiday that I received the prescription and the letter which told me that I had MALT lymphoma which I knew as a complication of Sjogrens syndrome.. But the doctor had not said this or explained it. I had to look it up on the internet to find out what it was. I found the whole experience of receiving the diagnosis very upsetting and stressful. It is obvious that they thought I was wasting their time by attending the clinic and were pro ably rather shocked and embarrassed when the biopsy gave a positive result. Also patients are knowledgeable and intelligent these days and know about cancer and I feel doctors should be honest and open about the diagnosis when telling the patient. I had already worked out my diagnosis beforehand but needed an explanation of the type of cancer I had and not have to look it up on the internet. The doctor needs ad ice on communication skills!