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Old 07.04.2011, 08:33
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Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

How glad am I that I live in Switzerland. Poor woman.

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...Ms McGlone said Swiss doctors were surprised to discover she had cervical cancer as previous tests in December 2005 and March 2006 had not alerted Scottish medics to the symptoms.

By that time her tumour had reached a stage where a hysterectomy was the only option.
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Old 07.04.2011, 08:53
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

How does it "work" in UK? In the US, generally the doctor takes a swab (or biopsy if there is a tumor found) and sends it off to a lab for testing.

Meanwhile here, one of my GYNs checked the slide herself when checking me out. I believe she also sent it on to a lab for further testing (she was looking for something specific). It gave me a very confident feeling to know that the doctors here (at least some of them) don't just drop the more "menial" tasks when they set up practice.
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Old 07.04.2011, 09:36
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

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How glad am I that I live in Switzerland. Poor woman.
Why? Do you naively think this could not happen in Switzerland?
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Old 07.04.2011, 10:06
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

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Why? Do you naively think this could not happen in Switzerland?
No, of course it could happen anywhere but there seem to be an awful lot of mis-diagnoses in the UK (almost the identical thing happened to my friend's mum who wasn't so lucky so I guess it struck a chord with me). I think the health service is just overworked and demotivated by loss of funding. The skills are there there's just not enough of them.

Plus I just felt sorry for the woman.
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Old 07.04.2011, 10:11
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

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How does it "work" in UK? In the US, generally the doctor takes a swab (or biopsy if there is a tumor found) and sends it off to a lab for testing.

Meanwhile here, one of my GYNs checked the slide herself when checking me out. I believe she also sent it on to a lab for further testing (she was looking for something specific). It gave me a very confident feeling to know that the doctors here (at least some of them) don't just drop the more "menial" tasks when they set up practice.
When I was still living in the UK you were called for a smear test every three years. The practice nurse took the swab and you got the results about 6 weeks later. I had one "questionable" result but was recalled within 10 days and the results were clear.

Also depends where you are living in the country. My sister (living an hour away from where I lived) doesn't get called to go for a test, for example.
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Old 07.04.2011, 10:11
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

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How glad am I that I live in Switzerland. Poor woman.
I know what you mean, christ aren't poor people back in England just such a complete drag ?

Thank christ we live with the richies and we can all afford top notch care.
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Old 07.04.2011, 10:15
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

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I know what you mean, christ aren't poor people back in England just such a complete drag ?

Thank christ we live with the richies and we can all afford top notch care.
I don't think a correct diagnosis is dependent on whether you are rich or poor either here or in the UK.
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Old 07.04.2011, 22:11
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

A good friend of mine was diagnosed with cervical cancer in the UK. The nurses looking after her explained to us that there are 3 levels of tests given by the NHS: If you are low risk and young (under 35), it really is nothing more than a cursory glance, if you're older or have a history of cancer in your family, you're given the next level which is a little more in-depth. And finally, if you've had other kinds of cancer or they decide that you really are high risk, then you're given the full hog which equates to a proper test like the one given here from the get-go.
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Old 07.04.2011, 22:20
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

In Peru and other emerging countries since the prevalence of "Human Papilloma Virus" is so high, they start testing right after the woman starts being sexually active. It only takes a smear but you have to have a good sample so an experienced OB/GYN should perform it, I tried twice and I really suck at it
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Old 07.04.2011, 22:22
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

Must say I felt much safer in the UK- because I was called regularly for smears. Here most GPs will not do it, neither will their staff, so you have to go to a Gynea. For people living in the sticks, that means having to go long distances to find one - and the onus is totally on you to make an appointment- which means most women do not have regular tests in CH.
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Old 07.04.2011, 22:36
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

You have to take a certain responsibility for your own health aswell.

Yes, you get called in the UK but if you are not happy then it is not expensive to pay for a private test ( I know womamn who have one every year)
My daughter was called at 25 and did not make an immediate appt - she had 2 follow up letters.

On the subject of smears - don't know if they use the metal things here but ask for the plastic ones - the difference is amazing - have passed this tip on to several friends after hearing it on the radio and now we don't mind going for one so much..
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Old 07.04.2011, 22:36
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

All women between the ages of 25 and 64 are invited to have a smear test every three to five years in the UK. You have the smear taken at your local surgery by a GP or nurse and the slide is sent to the hospital lab for analysis. Results are usually back within a couple of weeks. It's good getting the letter inviting you to go for a smear because it means you can't forget. Also if you're due one it is flagged up on your records so if you are seeing the doctor about something else they will remind you too. I think they probably have a target on participation to meet so they are very proactive about it.

If you're interested there are more details on the UK screening system here
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Old 07.04.2011, 22:58
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

Thank goodness it's one of the curable ones, I feel really sorry for the lady
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Old 07.04.2011, 23:11
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

Of course, I'm sure we all do, and hope she makes a full recovery.
Agree with Smackerjack about taking responsibility for one's own health - but it does really help to get a letter reminding you. Difficult to ignore when you do- and easy to go to one's own GP around the corner. Here the onus is on the patient to find a gynea, find a mammogram specialist, find a specialist for everything- drive long distances to go (eg take at least half a day off work for each visit/specialist).
I am a diabetic with a thyroid problem - and in the UK I was called for a full check every 6 months automatically, and all tests done, a specialist seen and medication checked- and it felt safe and comforting. Here the onus is totally on the patient, and many fall through the net. I know 3 people here with amputations due to poor diabetic control as they were not followed up properly- never met an amputee at the diabetic clinic in UK.
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Old 07.04.2011, 23:23
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

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Of course, I'm sure we all do, and hope she makes a full recovery.
Agree with Smackerjack about taking responsibility for one's own health - but it does really help to get a letter reminding you. Difficult to ignore when you do- and easy to go to one's own GP around the corner. Here the onus is on the patient to find a gynea, find a mammogram specialist, find a specialist for everything- drive long distances to go (eg take at least half a day off work for each visit/specialist).
I am a diabetic with a thyroid problem - and in the UK I was called for a full check every 6 months automatically, and all tests done, a specialist seen and medication checked- and it felt safe and comforting. Here the onus is totally on the patient, and many fall through the net. I know 3 people here with amputations due to poor diabetic control as they were not followed up properly- never met an amputee at the diabetic clinic in UK.
Yes but they do a lot of "unnecessary" surgeries in UK too. Many people have died in UK hospitals from infections. The point is that in Switzerland they don't see the need to "remind" you every time to take care of your health unless there was a problem diagnosed previously. Your health is your responsibility. Many times people come to Switzerland and want to be treated like babies, then they realize they have to "grow up" and be responsible. Not criticizing you personally though, just writing about the subject.
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Old 07.04.2011, 23:30
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

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Yes but they do a lot of "unnecessary" surgeries in UK too. Many people have died in UK hospitals from infections. The point is that in Switzerland they don't see the need to "remind" you every time to take care of your health unless there was a problem diagnosed previously. Your health is your responsibility. Many times people come to Switzerland and want to be treated like babies, then they realize they have to "grow up" and be responsible. Not criticizing you personally though, just writing about the subject.
I think it's a miracle if they manage to get through the "necessary" surgeries in the UK - can't imagine the overstretched health service has much time left for the "unnecessary" surgeries.

My dad was waiting 18 months for a simple hernia operation which got progressively worse then ended up as a major procedure instead of a simple stitch and run job.
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Old 07.04.2011, 23:44
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

When was that - new regs say 6 months maximum wait - and would be a lot less in most cases?
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Old 07.04.2011, 23:53
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

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When was that - new regs say 6 months maximum wait - and would be a lot less in most cases?
First referred spring 2008, operated on in autumn of 2009.

EDIT: Actually, it wasn't for want of trying - he had two operation dates cancelled due to over booking so maybe you could say he satisfied their targets by being called for surgery within 6 months but had to send him home again (after getting him prepared, in his jimmies and waiting for the trolley) because there were too many patients and not enough theatre slots. That had to happen again before they finally got him under the knife.

Last edited by Sandgrounder; 07.04.2011 at 23:58. Reason: Afterthought
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Old 07.04.2011, 23:59
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

Very unfortunate - hope dad is OK now. The 6 months max rule has been in operation for 5 years, so something went wrong there. Where was it btw?
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Old 08.04.2011, 09:24
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Re: Swiss doctors diagnose cervical cancer missed by UK doctors.

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No, of course it could happen anywhere but there seem to be an awful lot of mis-diagnoses in the UK (almost the identical thing happened to my friend's mum who wasn't so lucky so I guess it struck a chord with me). I think the health service is just overworked and demotivated by loss of funding. The skills are there there's just not enough of them.

Plus I just felt sorry for the woman.
Well, I've been here over 30 years and have LOADS of experience with the health service. With certainty I can tell you that mis-diagnosis/no diagnosis is not just a UK related problem. Actually I could make a long list of experiences encountered here but won't bother. Thing is with the training of doctors in the western system who rely too much on lab. results, and technology.

In the eastern systems of Ayurveda and Chinese medicine practictioners are taught to use their intuition, along with pulse diagnosis, tongue and eye diagnosis which are actually very reliable when mastered properly.
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