(KFVS) - While some recent studies indicate a lack of honesty between doctors and patients, locally both parties say that should be a sign it's time to work on stronger relationships.
They say no matter how embarrassing, unusual or scary your symptoms are, you have to describe them to your doctor. What's more, you have to tell your doctor what's going on. Don't expect him to ask you questions all the time. It's okay for you to express yourself.
Heartland News talked to patients and doctors who say opening up saves lives.
"My lump was one centimeter when I found it," said breast cancer survivor, Pris Mabuce. "It was on a nerve and causing pain."
Mabuce says she went to her doctor and told him exactly what was wrong.
"When I saw the ultra sound pictures on the screen, I could tell I was in trouble," said Mabuce.
She says honesty and strong connections made a breast cancer survivor, not a victim.
"The call weeks later when I found out my entire breast was engulfed with cancer, that was hard. But I needed that honest straight talk. I don't know what I would have done without God and my faith," said Mabuce. "Also I had to have that strong connection with my doctor. It was key to everything. We have a great relationship."
"Listening is probably the most important thing in this business," said Dr. Byron Glenn. 'You have to be honest with folks."
Dr. Glenn of Cape Urgent Care says patients like Mabuce are right. Having a strong connection with your doctor can save your life.
"Once a patient realizes you are going to listen to them, they don't have any problems telling you what's going on," said Dr. Glenn.
Dr. Glenn and others say all the technology in the world can't replace simply making time to listen to patients. That being said, medical professionals say they need women to be honest about embarrassing topics, and for men to make appointments sooner when they feel something isn't right.
"We took an oath to help patients," said Glenn. "I want to get back to the days when it's about the doctor and the patient."
Judy Settle, a breast cancer survivor is another patient who says simple honesty and tough conversations with her doctor saved her life.
"I just keep asking questions until I feel like we're communicating," said Settle. "When I go to the doctor with members of my family I am surprised at how they don't. Then we leave and they say they didn't get all the information they wanted. You have to ask questions. They might know more than me but it's my body," said Settle.
She recommends taking a friend with you to the doctor, or taking a note pad if you have a difficult time expressing what's wrong.
"I may not want to hear it but I need to so that I can be prepared for what's going to happen next," said Settle.
Doctors and patients say in today's world of health care you need to find a good doctor who will give you straight answers. If you feel like they are not honest, find someone else. Doctors we spoke with say to find someone who is not easily influenced by drug companies or politics.