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Birad category 5: Suggestions for dealing with someone with disabilities

What a great forum for support.  I have read a couple of the latest postings for birad 5 category readings...and they have been an encouragement.
My dilema is this:  My friend is 52 years old...she has some emotional and learning disabilities.  I took her to her 6 month followup mammogram yesterday from earlier this year (birad 3).  And the radiologist rated her a category 5 birad.  Her primary care physician's nurse called and spoke with her and told her to go and see a surgeon....and knows of her handicap so she said that there was reason for further testing...but did not say the "C" word to her because that would send her into a tailspin.  I got on the phone and she explained everything to me in detail.  She is currently working for a company that has employed her for the past 10 years and she has great insurance.  So telling her that she might have cancer will send her into DEEP depression and it definitely would affect her performance at work.  She would cry nonstop and tell everyone she had cancer...even though we don't know that yet.  Hence...my dilema.  Do I tell the surgeon that we have an appt. with on Tuesday that I would appreciate it if he did not say the "C" word?  And until the biopsy....there is no actual "proof" of cancer anyway....right?  I have been her friend for 8 years and I know her very well.  I have never kept anything from her....but until we know for sure....I don't want her to get herself all worked up....she doesn't have the same coping skills that most of us have.  And I know that I am concerned enough for both of us.  I will not keep it from her once we get the results....but bless her heart...I know that the waiting would be too hard for her.  What do you think?
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Avatar universal
I agree I would try and get in toouch with the surgeons nurse and explain the situation with her and they will help you in how to best proceed with her. God Bless
Helpful - 0
25201 tn?1255580836
I would certainly try to get in touch with the Surgeon and explain the situation beforehand. As far as mentioning the word cancer; as you say there is no proof but a BIRAD 5 is highly suggestive of malignancy. At some point she is going to have to be told and deal with it to the best of her ability. I don't believe in keeping the facts from pt.s ... it never pays in the long run. Keeping all this from her until the last minute (which will be quite a task) may make her turn on you when she is told. It can be discussed in a very gentle manner but I wouldn't recommend hiding it to the extent you suggest. There are support groups and counsellors available thru the Amer. Cancer Society so you might think about these for some help.  Regards ....
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