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How/When doc's deliver results of scans

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 188
Joined: Feb 2014

In the blink of an eye, we are heading into 6 month scans. It's so bizarre how the whole ordeal can seem so far away, yet so present at the exact same time. Anyways, my husbands scans are scheduled 9 days before his appointment with the oncologist. I was just wondering what to expect regarding delivery of scan results. Should I expect him to receive a phone call with results prior to the meeting with the oncologist? I was just curious what most people experience, and also so I can schedule my appointment with my therapist post-scan results. 

 

Thanks everyone, I appreciate any input. 

Srashedb
Posts: 239
Joined: Dec 2013

I think scans are read and passed on differently by doctors; in mynhusband's case, the results are posted online to his chart as soon as they are read by the radiologist.

Maybe I should get a therapist since I have hounded the docs as soon as the scans are in to explain and clarify. I also hit google for understanding words or terms in the reports.

nine days would be very difficult for me and I swear that I will never let a doc set an appointment for a Monday with scans the previous Friday.

he had his last scans on the 21st and his appointment on the 24th; by the appointment, the doctor had given us the results which was great since I didn't have to go with him and could instead head for the hospital for the birth of our second granddaughter 

Sarah

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 188
Joined: Feb 2014

Interesting. Results available online, I kind of hope that isn't an option for us. I think I'd rather have a verbal explanation, although I do remember being told to "you can look up what that means on the internet" with regard to the TNM staging on the initial tumor and found that quite offputting as well. Can't win I guess. I'm just trying to plan ahead for how and when to get the news. Something I can control, I guess, in an otherwise unpredictable situation of a RCC diagnosis. 

mdb2387's picture
mdb2387
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2014

Scans should be read and result back within 24 hours.Call the facility where it was done and ask if the result is back and say you want to pick it up.You will probably have to sign something and show your ID but they will give it t you.At the bottom of the report will be the summary.I've always done this rather than wait until the doctors appt. 

Darron's picture
Darron
Posts: 242
Joined: Jun 2013

reading all these makes me thankful for my doctor at Levine Cancer Institute.

i generally scan at 9:00 am and have a 1:00 or 2:00 appt.

i know there are others in my trial that scan at 3:00 pm and get results the next morning.

mdb2387's picture
mdb2387
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2014

Darron that's great.That's how it should be.My doctor doesn't read the result until he walks into the room where I am and picks up the chart on appointment day..It's possible if I get a bad result it may be brought to his attaention before my appointment.Not sure.I've thought about just waiting but never do..I'm not sure how technical the language would on the result if the result wasn't clear but luckily mine have been clear and the summary says as much in easy to understand language.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 2056
Joined: Oct 2011

a few days to get results. Scans friday, dr. appt. on weds. Didn't bother me. Now I get scans in am and get results that afternoon at dr. appt. I get a copy then.  I can review the images during my appt. if I want. The rest of my lab work gets posted to my online chart.

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

scanned in the morning and got results in the afternoon, pathology after surgery took 6 days and that sucked!

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 188
Joined: Feb 2014

Wow, sounds like test results from scans are faster to arrive that I thought. Good to know. I guess the best thing to do is put a call into the doctor and find out the plan. I've got time to wait I guess. I'm just "scanxious" I guess, 

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 438
Joined: Feb 2009

In Scan Results, it seems to be the facility, and the size of the staff.  I have a scan, and a week later, I will see either the oncology nurse or the Dr. for results.  They will usually have it electronically by the end of the second day, but the Dr. may not have had a chance to review it for another day.  And/or the twice weekly meeting of the 2 oncologists and their nurse practitioner(s).   And you sure wouldn't want to have the appointment without the Dr. having reviewed the report. So that's why there is a 1 week gap between tests and results to me.  But...If I really have to know, I can call the nurse within about 3 days after the test and get a summary of the key points, and still go to the 1 week later appointment.  Both options have been available to me for the past 7 years.

On the other side, a kidney cancer survivor in the local support group, has a Dr. in Portland, OR.  She' drives up one day, has the test in the morning, sees the Dr. in the afternoon, and drives home.  But this is a major cancer treatment facility in a Metro area with a large campus.

we have become so attuned to receiving instant results, that we often forget there needs to be a human factor involved.  Especially from the radiologists perspective.  That Dr. needs to go back and review the previous CT to make any comparisons is size/change/etc., in order to make recommendations to the Oncologist.  We want them to do a thorough job on our own report.  But we know, also, the wait time can be stressful.

Hang in there, and let us know when the results are in.

Donna

Cate1273's picture
Cate1273
Posts: 35
Joined: Feb 2014

I agree with Donna. It depends on where you are. I am outside of Philadelphia near some of the best cancer centers and I get my scan in  the morning and meet with my oncologist a few hours later and she gives me the results. Of course I ask lots of questions and she shows me the scans so I can see what she is referring to. I would be scanxious if I had to wait 9 days. I think you could call to see if you could pick them up. I have done that before also. Hang in there and it will work out.

 

Cate

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 188
Joined: Feb 2014

I will let him know he can probably pick up his own scan results. I'm going to ask my husband to push up the oncologist appointment. As much as I was looking forward to doing celebratory NED Cinco de Mayo tequila shots in the parking garage of the doctor's office, I think I'd rather know sooner than later. 

cubsfan9
Posts: 45
Joined: Oct 2013

Good Morning!

From reading all of the comments, it seems that every facility is different.  My husband has scans every 3 mnths at this point.  He goes for labs/scans on a Friday (day 9 "off" Sutent) and has an appointment with the oncologist on Monday for the results.  Sometimes the doctor calls us right away, but  not always-depends on his schedule.  It is possible to pick up a CD of the scan in about an hour, but we never do...couldn't read them anyway!  We usually go out for a special dinner at his favorite Italian eatery after the scans as something to look forward to.  He can't tolerate Italian food while on meds, so it is  real treat.

Jojo61's picture
Jojo61
Posts: 477
Joined: Oct 2013

My first scan is on March 27 and my appointment with the oncologist is April 9th! I am just going to look at it as the oncologist is confident that it will be NED and try not to think about it!!

 

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 188
Joined: Feb 2014

Good thinking, Jojo61. I like that attitude! 

Skagway Jack's picture
Skagway Jack
Posts: 91
Joined: Oct 2013

I had a scan on Feb 24th.....was read to me on Feb 25th by the oncologist.  The problem was they found a spot on my remaining kidney, and I am still waiting for my urologist to compare the recent scan with my first scan from September.  I am scheduled to meet with him next week, but I can not get a quick answer on whether it was present in previous scan or not.  This is aggravating and if I wasnt so busy at work I would probably be more insistent on getting my answer right away. 

But here is a question for the group.  Does your oncologist read the report from the radiologist or do they look it over themselves?  I would expect them to do both, but frankly my oncologist seemed only to have read the report.  Any thoughts?

Srashedb
Posts: 239
Joined: Dec 2013

both in my husbands's case; The onc will have the CD which he will show to us if he needs to explain something.

the reports are put online as soon as the radiologist reads the scans.

Sarah

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 2056
Joined: Oct 2011

online. My Doc pulls them up and we can see them on the monitor. She always looks at them before we do together. She is familiar with all my changes while each scan might be read by any one of a number of radiologists who compare only recent results. So she often shares a different interpretation. So far never worse.

a_oaklee
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2013

Sblair:  we have our scan done one week before our appointment with the oncologist.  While it is possible for the oncologist to view the scan the very same day, we prefer to have the expert interpretation from the radiologist which includes information re SUV uptake numbers and precise measurements of mets being compared to previous scan measurements.  We go to a large university teaching hospital and that report cannot be done on the same day.  We have a 3 hour drive, so we just come back in a week.  At the time of the scan we ask for a digital copy and they mail it along with the report to our home.  One time the report showed up before our appointment and of course we read it.  We don't have a problem waiting the one week for results.  The stressful days for us are the day of the scan and the day we go for results.  Inbetween we just try to stay really busy and not think about it.  

Skagway:  we don't see a urologist.  The oncologist goes over the written report and if necessary gladly shows us the scan on their computer screen.  We get copies of everything.  Scans are always compared to previous scans.  I would think that the interpretation from a radiologist would be more precise and greater expertise than an oncologist.  One time we did a scan locally, and no measurements or comparison was made.  Our oncologist called the local radiologist and asked them for a more thorough report.  Since then, we have all our scans at the medical center (even if it is a 3 hour drive).  We also see a local oncologist, not an RCC expert.  He also goes over the images and report with us.  We see the local onc once a month and the rcc onc every 3 months.

Skagway Jack's picture
Skagway Jack
Posts: 91
Joined: Oct 2013

Well as far Dr. looking over the results....its like pilots doing pre-flights.  The more eyes on it the better the way I see it.  Since I dont have that long of track record, things may pop up while they go over things. I would hope for this to settle down soon.  This spot on my left kidney is likely nothing...but I am axious to know if its on the previous scan.  Anyway,  If feeling good is any indication, I feel great. 

todd121
Posts: 641
Joined: Dec 2012

At City of Hope where I am now, I get scanned in the morning and my oncologist appointment is in the afternoon. Almost always, the radiology report and images are available at my appointment in the afternoon. The doc pulls them up there and prints me a copy. One time they weren't ready, so he asked me to shoot him an email the next day and he'd email me the report. I did and he did. Very convenient.

Another thing I love at City of Hope, is that I can get blood drawn at 8am, and usually by 10-11am my blood test results are available online so the doctor can pull them up. I drive a long way, and it's really great to be able to have this stuff done, and get an appointment with the doctor all on the same day without having to go back.

This is one thing they are definitely doing right at City of Hope. It's bad enough having cancer without all the hoop jumping of going back and forth and back and forth...

When I was at UCI, the process was more cumbersome. I'd get scanned, and it might be 2 days possible 3 before they'd be ready. So my doctor's appointment would be 3 days or more after my scan. However, I could go by radiology and get a copy of the report as soon as it was ready and read it myself. I did do that once when my appointment with the doctor wasn't for a few days and I didn't want to wait.

Pathology, however, wouldn't release my report to me. It really ticked me off somewhat. They said it had to be read by the doctor and only the doctor could give me the results. I had my surgery December 10 and ended up not getting my pathology results until December 26. Part of that was my fault (voice mail was full and I didn't realize it).

Todd

Srashedb
Posts: 239
Joined: Dec 2013

this is wonderful to hear since I just learned that my daughter-in-law will deliver at City of Hope; she needs extra care because she had spinal surgery for scoliosis as a child.

So good to know.

Sarah

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