Diagnosis and Pathology
Diagnosis may be defined as a “formal statement about the nature of a patient’s disease.” An accurate diagnosis can be made only after the clinician has obtained a full history, conducted a complete physical examination, and reviewed the results of relevant laboratory or radiologic investigations. This triad of history, examination, and investigation requires emphasis, and the reason is clear: cancer is an emotive word for a disease that is potentially life-threatening. A diagnosis of cancer represents the beginning of a process that may be long and difficult for the patient. If the physician’s credibility and the patient’s confidence are to be maintained for the duration of this process, it is crucial the diagnosis be correct at the outset. During the period of searching for a diagnosis, the patient needs explanations of why every test is being recommended and performed; when a diagnosis is reached, he or she needs to be told this in understandable terms, with the relevant implications and a plan of future management.
KeywordsArthritis Lymphoma Creatinine Sarcoma Alkaloid
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