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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

Do You Really Have Cancer?

An article in The Wall Street Journal (August 25, 2023), "Are You Sure You Have Cancer? ...Misdiagnoses are all too common..." aroused several thoughts. An excellent older book, Should I Be Tested For Cancer? Maybe Not and Here's Why, by H. Gilbert Welch, M.D., M.P.H. is well worth reading. And regarding misdiagnoses: years ago I was diagnosed with glaucoma by a local ophthalmologist/glaucoma specialist ("You have a little glaucoma in both eyes. Do you want laser or drug treatment?"). Distrusting him because of his personality and office staff's unprofessionalism (the receptionist being on the phone with her boyfriend), I went for a second opinion to a world famous glaucoma expert in NYC. After examination he said that not only did I not have glaucoma but that in his entire career he had never seen glaucoma in eyes like mine (I have unusually thick cornea in both eyes). Had I stayed with the first doctor I might have wound up blind and you can imagine the unneeded stress he caused me. For something serious in a non-emergency situation, ALWAYS get a second opinion from a noted authority in another town. It's well worth traveling for.









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