What Can I Do About My Skepticism over Diagnosis?

Question asked by Lois S.: I have become very skeptical about pathology reports, as well as mammograms and even sonograms, mostly due to my recent experience.

I am 67 years old and had post menopausal bleeding and was using tampons. I went to a gynecologist and was told I needed a D&C. I had the D&C, and the doctor told my son she wanted him at the follow-up visit and that I had cancer and not to tell me.

I knew something was wrong when he told me about coming with me to the follow-up, and I wormed it out of him. He called the doctor, and informed her that I knew. She called me and assured me that it was contained in my uterus, and with a hysterectomy I would be fine. The following day she called me and told me, "You are the luckiest woman in the world, the pathology report came in and you don't have cancer."

I went to another gynecologist for a second opinion and had a hysterectomy. The pathology report said I had a high level of stage one cancer and the lymph nodes were OK.

Whom do I believe? I am going this month for my first three-month check after the surgery.

Answer from Karleen Habin, R.N.: It's unfortunate that you had a bad experience. What I would encourage you to do at this time would be to seek a third opinion at a nationally-designated cancer center. Most often, insurance companies will cover the cost of second and even third opinions.

In this case your care and follow-up are dependent on the right answer. I have included the link to the National Consortium of Cancer Networks (NCCN) where you may be able to find additional information: http://www.nccn.org/.

Lastly, keep the faith. Mammograms save lives!