Feeling let down by oncologist

Hi all. I just had nuclear medicine oncologist appointment and she really let me feel down. I will have RAI on 23rd of June. I am in this group and also another one where I read loads of stories of people with papillary thyroid cancer (my had spread to my lymph nodes on left side of neck - they were all removed) that are getting the treatment and are fine. Sometimes they need to repeat it and again they are fine after. But this lady made sure I know what are the risks, like she wanted me to know that if it spread to my lymph nodes it is aggressive and I need to understand it might come back maybe not in months but in years even. And I am fully aware of that as I made my own research and still I thought RAI treatment is successful in most of the cases. I am just an optimistic person and I came to terms with having cancer. And I believed I will be fine after treatment and then she came and ruined it all for me. Rant over. Thank you. 

  • Hi @IsabellFel, you sound like me - easily affected by others positivity or negativity.  

    Some doctors like to make sure we understand the risks and focus on this too much.  Maybe to protect themselves from being sued or to make sure we don't get complacent and miss any early signs of cancer's return.  

    I had a different cancer to you so I don't know anything about your type but if you've done your research and found lots of positive stories then I would focus on those.  There are risks for people who have never had cancer before as well as for those of us who have, there are risks for everyone - this is how I like to think about it.

    Hope this helps a little.

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

  • Whenever you do anything with doctors, they HAVE to tell you all the possible risks before you sign the paperwork.

    If you read the pamphlet inside any packet of tablets, they HAVE to tell you that just about anything might possibly kill you.

    It's like when you sign up for a mortgage or an investment and they HAVE to tell you that rates may go up as well as down and you might lose everything you own if you get behind on your repayments.

    In reality, you're absolutely right to say that RAI is 'successful in most of the cases' and that serious side effects are very rare.

    This is probably why most of us don't thoroughly read 'terms and conditions' because they're just so miserable.

    RAI is fantastic. It's the best tool in the oncologists tool box for dealing with thyroid cancer and is the main reason why most of us survive and thrive. Please hold on to that and don't let the doctor upset you with things the HAVE to tell you.

    Best wishes


    “Scars are tattoos with better stories.” – Anonymous