Siti is a 59-year-old lady from Indonesia. Sometime in 2014, she had problems with her speech. A doctor in Medan said there was a tumour in her brain. Siti was prescribed some medications and was told to undergo surgery. There was no other option except surgery. Siti refused because of the risks associated with the procedure. The surgery in Medan would cost her IDR 60 million.
Not satisfied, Siti came to Penang for a second opinion. Again she was told that surgery was her only option. This would cost RM 25,000. Again Siti refused the treatment.
MRI 7 January 2015 – tumour size 6.2 x 4.5 x 6 cm
Siti returned to Indonesia and did nothing. She did not have much problems.
In February 2015, she came to seek our opinion. She presented with weakness in both legs, headaches on and off and her right leg felt heavy.
You may be able to learn something from our brief conversation below:
Chris: Can the operation cure your cancer?
Siti’s sister: The doctor said if she did not go for the surgery, she would be blind, may have seizures and probably may not be able to move. If she were to undergo an operation, she would have an 80 percent chance of cure. However, the procedure has risks. There could be severe bleeding. She might have a stroke or end up in a coma.
C: Do you believe that the operation can give you an 80 percent chance of cure?
C: Why not?
SS: I don’t believe because I have many friends who are doctors in Indonesia. They all told me that at best she would have only a 50:50 percent chance.