You may initially feel very apprehensive about insisting on this. Let me tell you from my experience with many patients that your imagination will usually paint a far gloomier picture than the truth. It is much easier to grapple with facts than with the unknown. It is impossible to make good decisions in a black cloud of ignorance. These are very good reasons for insisting on the facts.

I know that some of you will be seeking information, advice and treatment from people other than medical-school trained doctors. I wish to make it clear that my training was as a medical doctor. I worked in a large teaching hospital. This is where my experience lies and it is what I understand best. Because of this, you will find that all the detailed explanations in this book concern the methods of diagnosis, assessment and treatment used by medical practitioners. In these sections I will use the word doctor to mean medical-school trained doctors. Some sections of this book, including all of this chapter, apply whether or not the cancer ‘expert’ you are consulting is a doctor. In these sections I will use the word ‘practitioner’ to mean whoever is looking after you, whatever their training.


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