Getting Your Biopsy Results: How Do You Want to Be Told, What Do You Need to Ask

Getting Your Biopsy Results: How Do You Want to Be Told, What Do You Need to Ask
Living & Loving with Prostate Cancer In my previous column, I talked about the first phase after a biopsy — the waiting. Here, I'm looking at phase two, which begins the day you receive your results. In a study titled Disclosing a Diagnosis of Cancer: Where and How Does It Occur?, researchers reported on a survey given to hundreds of cancer patients being treated at a National Cancer Institute center in Maryland. Their findings:  "Of  the 437 patients who completed the survey, 54% were told their diagnosis in-person in the physician's office, 18% by phone, and 28% in the hospital. Forty-four percent of patients reported discussions of 10 minutes or fewer, 53% reported discussions lasting longer than 10 minutes, and 5% could not remember ... Higher mean satisfaction scores were associated with diagnoses revealed in person rather than over the phone." I wanted some influence as to where and how I'd receive my biopsy results.    The Where — I did not want to receive the news in my doctor's office. Part of that decision involved my not wanting to drive 30 miles home if the news confirmed my suspicion of having prostate cancer. I wanted to hear the news in the safety and security of my home. I'm in the minority. Most people prefer to be told their results in their doctor's office. The How — After the biopsy procedure, I asked my doctor if he'd call
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Rick Redner received his master’s degree in social work from Michigan State University. He has spent many years working as a medical and psychiatric social worker He is the author of the award winning book I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where's Yours? His second book Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Erectile Dysfunction and Penile Implants won the Beverly Hills International Book Awards in Men's Health in 2016. Additionally, the book was a winner in the 2017 IAN Book of the Year Awards.

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