What Doctors say and what patients hear: Positives and Negatives

English and Medicine are not always the most complimentary areas.

Patients are told by their doctors that:

  • The disease has progressed – patients are happy, progress is a good word – but doctors mean that the disease has increased
  • The lymph nodes are positive – patients are happy, positive is a good word – but doctors mean that the cancer has spread
  • HER2 gene is positive – patients are happy, positive is a good word – but doctors mean that the cancer is more aggressive
  • KRAS is positive – patients are happy, but negative KRAS is better
  • EGFR is mutant – patients are sad, but mutant is better