1. Diseases and treatments can be categorized in several ways: by I heir cause, by the system of the body affected, by severity, by the usual form o.f treatment, by the likelihood of recurrence, or by the expected outcome. A physician studies the patient’s medical history, symptoms, current physical condition, and medical test results in order to make a diagnosis and answer these kinds of questions: Is the condition serious (major) or minor? is the patient suffering from a chronic problem'or an acute attack? If there is a tumor, is it benign or malignant (cancerous)? is it localized or widespread? If the patient has a runny nose and a postnasal drip, arc these conditions caused by an infection or an allergy? If there is an infection, what type of germ is it caused by? Is the disease communicative (contagious) or noncon-tagious? Is this a physical or a mental illness, or both? What is the treatment of choice? What is the course of the illness likely to be? Is the patient’s illness curable or incurable? Is it fatal? Is the patient terminally ill?
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