New member to this forum, second post. I'm am seeking advice for my dad. Hope somebody can provide her/his insight.
Quick background: In September'12, my dad went to ER for massive fluid build up in his stomach. After he was released from the hospital, he refused to go back for any followups. When December'12 came around, he had to visit the ER again because the problem came back. We found out that my dad got colon cancer 3B. He went through surgery to remove 4 lymph nodes in his stomach area and also had colon resectioning. In February of this year, he started chemo treatment. His chemo treatment finished in August.
My question is: Is it a good idea to change oncologist at this point?
Here are the reasons why I am seeking help:
- When my dad finished his last chemo treatment in August'13, I asked the oncologist what are the next steps. He told me that my dad should do a colonoscopy in October'13 and CT scan in December'13. In that same visit, I asked the oncologist what is my dad's CEA? He told me that his the last CEA they did was back in May'13, which was 4.99. And since May'13 they didn't do one. I was very surprised that they didn't measure his CEA after his treatment. The oncologist told me that they don't have any other CEA data on my dad. The oncologist told me that his CEA should be low since he finished his chemo. Regardless, I requested my dad's CEA to be measured again. The test came back with 4.88. So I asked him what should we do because the CEA count is still high. He finally said that my dad should do the colonscopy and CT scan sooner. After all the tests are done, then we should meet again to discuss my dad's condition.
- For the colonscopy, I took my dad to the same gastrologist that attended him in September'12 and December'12. While I was there, I asked him if they had done any CEA assessment when my dad was at the hospital in September'12 and December'12. Turns out to be yes! September'12's CEA was 2.7. And 0.7 in January'13, after the surgery. The colonscopy came back clean.
- For the CT scan, the oncologist said that somebody in his assistant will call me to arrange an appointment. After a couple of weeks I didn't get a phone call. I finally called them back and they said that somebody will call me at end of September'13. Again nobody called. My dad had to go for a port flush appointment on October 1. During that visit, the lady told him that he needs to go for a CT scan the next day! Talk about poor service and planning. My dad went for the CT scan as planned.
- We had an appointment with the oncologist on Friday to discuss my dad's results. I asked him what he thought of the colonscopy results. Turns out he hasn't even read them yet! He didn't even know the gastrologist's name. I was very angry. We told the oncologist that my dad has been coughing a lot lately and there's pain in his chest. So I asked him could it be lung cancer? He replied that small percentage that colon cancer can spread to the lungs. I asked him how many percent is low, he said single digits. The oncologist is now referring us to a lung specialist for my dad.
At this point, I am very, very unhappy at the quality of service and attention my dad is getting from the oncologist. First of all, I believe the he should have checked with the hospital for any records of CEA tests. Secondly, he should've read the colonscopy report. And possibly a third reason, seems like it is common for colon cancer to spread to lung. I don't think he knows what he's talking about
I feel like I should be looking for a new oncologist and cut my loses with this one.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post.