PORTLAND, Ore. — After nearly 40 years as an internist, Dr. Ron Naito knew what the sky-high results of his blood test meant. And it wasn’t good.
But when he turned to his doctors last summer to confirm the dire diagnosis — stage 4 pancreatic cancer — he learned the news in a way no patient should.
The first physician, a specialist Naito had known for 10 years, refused to acknowledge the results of the “off-the-scale” blood test that showed unmistakable signs of advanced cancer. “He simply didn’t want to tell me,” Naito said.
A second specialist performed a tumor biopsy, and then discussed the results with a medical