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Cat Scan Results-Bad News?

fishfinder333
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2011

My mom had unterine cancer 6 years ago. She was treated sucessfully and gets tested regularly ever since. On a recent checkup the Dr suggest that she do a Cat Scan for precautionary reasons because she hasn't had one in a while. Today she got a call from the docs office asking her to make an appointment for next mon to review the cat scan results. This really freaked me out because I'm thinking if the test was negative they would just told her that over the phone or my mail. But since doc is asking for an appointment to go over ct scan resutls does this mean there is something wrong? Also if there is something wrong would they really wait a whole week to tell her?

Any one have a CT Scan before? How do doctors normally go over ct scan results? In person or over the phone regarless of out come.

I'm so worried and losing sleep over this.

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

Since your mother hasn't had a CT scan in such a long time, I imagine that they did the scan for a new 'baseline' scan to compare future scans against. My oncologist always likes to review scans in person, so that he can show me the actual images and discuss any 'notes' attached to the images provided by the pathologist. Any little dark spot can be 'noted' by the pathologist, and based on my experience, 99% of them are nothing. My oncologist says it's a CYA situation (Cover Your A$$) for the pathologist who is just flagging anything that bears watching on future scans. If there is somethin truly suspicious on the CT scan images, in your oncologist's opinion, he may very well call for a PET scan to see if they can learn more. But chances are this is just the protocol your mother's oncologist follows. Your insurance was charged big bucks for all of those images, and he may just want to let you see them and explain the notes to you.

Please don't 'borrow trouble' by worrying ahead of time. A cancer journey is a marathon; not a sprint. You have to conserve your energy and worry for when you KNOW there is something to be worried about. ((((hugs)))). Please be reassured that my oncologist ALWAYS reviews scan results in person with me, ALWAYS. I had a CT/PET on Monday, and have an appointment NEXT Monday to review the findings. Deep breath, okay? (((Hugs)))

fishfinder333
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2011

Thank you for your reply Linda. Sharing your experience is helpful. I know I am worrying too much befor knowing the results, but I've already lost my father and I'm scared to lose my mother as well.

Yes my mothers last CT scan was almost 6 years ago right after they performed a full hysterectomy for endometrial cancer. The results of the test were normal. From there all they did were regular pap smears and pelvic exams. She recenlty got her pap smear results which were negative and there was nothing to report from the pelvic exam. She doesn't feel any pain or exhibit any symptoms of cancer right now which is comforting.

If they found anything alarming or unusual in the CT scan would they wait a whole week to tell her or schedule a PET scan? That seems like a long time to wait if it was something serious.

Also my moms english isn't very good and when the nurse called her to schedule an appt for next Monday they used the word negotiate. I asked her if she was sure of the word and she said yes. I'm wondering why they need to negotiate something? Do you have any insight on why they would need to negotiate?

I'm sorry for all the questons. I'm just so concerned right now.

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1015
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Fishfinder:

When I had my Ct Scan done in 2009, the office called me and said that they saw something and for me to come in to discuss it. Since they just indicated to your mom to come in, I think it is like Linda said to discuss the results since your mom hasn't had a CT scan in such a long time.

When was your mom's last appointment with the doctor? Maybe it was just time for her next visit. Also, are you sure the nurse didn't say negative? Maybe the results were negative?

Kathy

fishfinder333
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi Kathy,

Thank you for sharing your experience. When you received your call to come in to discuss did they make you wait long? As I indicated her appt isn't until next mon and she got the call on tues. I would think if there is something wrong they wouldnt make her wait a whole week to tell her.

My moms last appt was probably 3-4 wks ago for annual pelvic exam, pap smear and mammogram. All these results came back normal. I asked her if they said negative and she's pretty sure nurse said negotiate. I hope they didn't say negotiate for another exam. I dont know I should just call myself and have them clarify.

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1015
Joined: Nov 2009

Fishfinder:

Don't be alarmed if they would want your mom to go for a PET scan. Although scar tissue can show up on a CT Scan (it may look like a mass), they may use a PET scan to show any active cancer or not. I usually prefer a PET scan, but insurance companies don't usually want to go that route. The insurance companies rather you get a CT scan first, then a PET scan.

The waiting is usually normal. And first response is to get there as fast as possible, but its best to gather your thoughts and stuff before you react.

Also, if your mom doesn't mind, I would probably call just to clarify. I would sometimes have my husband call just to recheck on what I heard.

My best to you and your mom.

Kathy

fishfinder333
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2011

I accompanied my mom to get her ct scan results. It was reported that she has 2 cyst on her liver. This is believed not be serious. The scan also found a 7mm nodule on one of her lungs. This is a bit worrisome. I read online that people with a nodule who's age is over 60 has a 50% chance that the nodule can be cancerous. This fact is very alarming. She will get another ct scan in 3 mths to see if nodule has grown any. Sigh :( More waiting. its so hard on my nerves

california_artist
Posts: 850
Joined: Jan 2009

So, if you are near to where you had your scan done, call the medical records office to say that you and your mom will be coming in to pick up a copy of the scan and or the preliminary results. The report will have a write up of the person who is in charge or determining what the scan shows. I feel this is always a good policy, seeing the report prior to talking to the doctor, as for one, you will not be unexpectedly surprised if there is a problem and two, it will give you a good chance to talk with your mom and see what type of questions she would like to have answered. Not something that is easy to do when you are suddenly facing dire news.

When contacting medical records ask specifically what form of identification they will need, and how much lead time they will require to get things ready for you and your mom. I have never had to wait more than a few hours or by the next morning at the latest. My onc misread the report at one visit and completely missed a growing node. So, it's good to read the report to be able to cover everything. Nobody needs to hear everything is alright and then read the report later only to find it really isn't.

Or, if you are horridly worried, call the doctor's office and let them know, asking could they tell you if it bad news that you should prepare for or not, as not sleeping at night is not good for anybody.

Best to you and your mom, I wouldn't wait nearly a week if I was loosing sleep over the results.

Claudia

fishfinder333
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi claudia thats good advice. I hate feeling all the anxiety.

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