STAT

Where a doctor saw a treatable cancer, a patient saw an evil spirit

After a doctor delivered what he thought was good news to a patient with cancer, he was met with a response he never expected.

The woman, who was in her 50s, had thyroid cancer, and scans suggested it had spread to her lungs.

But her doctor, Michael Fratkin, knew there were options.

“It’s like, well, what a bummer you have metastatic cancer, but we have a sort of magic missile for that kind of cancer, and it can be controlled,” he thought to himself. “All you have to do is swallow three iodine capsules.”

The woman, a Hmong immigrant, spoke little, if any, English. Through an experienced interpreter, Fratkin explained the protocol and told her she would need a lung biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. After the procedure, he told her he felt confident the protocol he had described

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