This seems to be an unlikely problem for us, as we here on this forum are, likely most of us anyway, pretty sophisticated in understanding, when the doctor explains them to us, the medical descript
ions and terminology that apply to our situations.
But according to the article below, which reports the results of a UK study, it's true that"... many patients just don’t understand the terms used in cancer consultations by doctors."
"... almost two thirds of people just don’t understand their doctor at this crucial moment [of cancer consultation] ... [and] ... over half of all patients simply do not understand "Doctor-speak."
We need to remember that not all patients dealing with cancer have the education or the background to understand easily the terminology or the medical descript
ions which the doctor is using, in his attempt to explain to the patient the patient's situation.
And the doctor himself may not realize that he is not communicating with the patient when he uses "indecipherable acronyms," or "cancer euphemisms," as the article states.
The article does not go on to suggest solutions to this problem, it just states the problem. And the problem could certainly be serious. The doctor may be advising the patient to do certain things, but if the patient is not understanding, then those things don't get done. The doctor may be laying out a proposed treatment plan, but, again, if the patient isn't realizing that, then there could be serious misunderstanding and confusion later.
Solutions? Well, the patient having someone along, such as his spouse, to be a second pair of ears, could help. The doctor inquiring at intervals "Do you understand what I'm telling you?" could also help. And as a follow-up to that, the doctor asking the patient to summarize in his own words what he thinks he has just heard the doctor say, with the doctor correcting him if he has got it wrong, could also help.
It would seem that it should be he doctor's responsibility to realize when a patient is just nodding his head when the doctor speaks, only giving the appearance of understanding what is being said. And the doctor should then take steps to assure that communication with the patient is actually being achieved.
(This doctor-patient "failure-to-communicate" situation, BTW, would seem to be part of a larger phenomenon that is pretty common in all sorts of areas, and one we've all seen. It's when an authority figure with considerable knowledge of a given subject just seems totally incapable of communicating that knowledge to others, especially when he is attempting to do so as an instructor. It's as if he is thinking subconsciously to himself, "Well, this is so obvious, why can't you just see it, why do I even have to explain it?," or, because it's so clear to him, he just assumes, again likely subconsciously, that if he just says a few words, probably overusing jargon as he does so, then surely everyone will quickly understand. Some doctors are guilty of this).
Again, not a problem that many of us here are likely to face, but one that would seem to occur for some patients.
(Sorry, can't get the link to work. Copy-and-paste and call up in your own browser, if you wish, to see article)https://www.canceractive.com/article/doctor-speak-in%20plain%20english
BTW, have any of you ever had a doctor who just seemed to have difficulty in making it clear what he was trying to say to you? Did you stay with him?
Chronic prostatitis (age 60 on)
BPH w/ urinary obstruction, 6/2011
Ongoing high PSA, 7/2011-12/2011
Biopsy, 12/2011: positive 3/12 (90%, 70%, 5%)
Gleason 6(3+3), T1c
No mets, PCa likely still organ contained
IMRT w/ HT (Lupron), 4/2012-6/2012
PSAs (since post-IMRT): 0.1 or lower