Has anyone ever had the onc give a diagnosis before surgery?

First I apologize if this is not quite coherent. My seizure meds are kicking my rear tonight. I was brought in by my oncologist last week and told that i have a new cancer (either gallbladder cancer or pancreatic). she told me that she would no longer be handling me as a patient and referred me to a new onc surgeon which i see on tuesday. she told me that this cancer is hard to treat and rarely survivable. how can she know that? they have not even done the surgery yet. she mentioned that the surgeon will let me know that there are a variety of things he might take out and that he will discuss this with me next tuesday. she said he will have me sign a lot of paperwork releasing him to shop around and remove what ever. I know my tumor markers have been on the rise for quite awhile. i have complained for quite sometime of stomacha and side pain and she kept saying it was adhesions from the colorectal surgeries. now she is scared to be around me. she makes me think she knows a lot more and is not telling me. has anyone else on this network ever had their onc talk and diagnose without surgery? she has me really scared.


  • John23
    John23 Member Posts: 2,122 Member
    Merrysmom -

    "i have complained for quite sometime of stomacha and side pain
    and she kept saying it was adhesions from the colorectal surgeries"

    Adhesions can cause major problems, but they usually don't cause
    much of anything until 2-3 years after surgery.

    Yes, I think you're overdue for a new physician. Be glad she's dropping
    you. It seems apparent to me, that she's really not experienced enough
    to take care of you.

    Diagnostics are best provided by experienced colorectal surgeons, or
    surgeons specializing in cancer. An oncologist is best suited for the
    administration of chemicals. Sometimes we forget the limitations of
    various specialists......

    Don't panic. Get the surgeon's opinion and then locate another two
    colorectal surgeons that are not of the same organization or group,
    and get their opinions as well. Good physicians welcome other opinions,
    since they do not always have the time to learn of new procedures,
    other than hear about them from fellow physicians. Patients are
    usually the best "go-between" and carrier of new information.

    You should also ask and discuss the possibility of ending up with
    an ostomy, and make certain that it's placed in the spot that's right
    for you. There are guidelines for that procedure, and an experienced
    colorectal surgeon can be of great help with that.

    Don't allow fear to drive you into any direction. Cancer usually moves
    slow enough to allow you to gather all the information you'll need to
    make an educated decision. You do not want to rush into anything,
    so take your time and do some studying.

    You're going to do OK, so relax and take your time.

    My best wishes for you,

  • SisterSledge
    SisterSledge Member Posts: 332 Member
    Sounds like your oncologist is much like mine...my first visit with him after a biopsy, I was told that my cancer was most likely bile duct in origin with liver mets, that the only tumors I had (on my liver) were inoperable, that chemo likely wouldn't be helpful at all or for long at best...that if I did nothing I'd die in 1-3 months and with chemo I might get 1-2 years if it worked for me.

    Now, less than six months later when I have Medicaid coverage and can see a surgeon at the Huntsman Cancer Center, I've been told that surgery is indeed an option and that it should be done right away. It is likely my cancer will be completely removed via liver resection to remove the largest tumor and radiation directly to the small tumors...getting another opinion can make all the difference in outcomes :)

  • here4lfe
    here4lfe Member Posts: 306 Member
    See What the New Onc Says
    My wife's oncologist meets with a board each tuesday where they discuss each case. His consultations with us are a considered opinion from oncologist, surgeons, nurses, and interventional radiologist.

    Good luck with the new team. You need some players on your side blocking for you as you race along this road of life.

  • PhillieG
    PhillieG Member Posts: 4,866 Member
    Hi MerrysMom
    Sounds like there could be a lot going on for you. An oncologist is often a specialist for one type of cancer. Mine is great with colorectal but may not be good with brain tumors for instance so her saying she will no longer treat you because of your new cancer would seem to be normal. Some cancers are easier to treat (colon cancer, WHEN caught early is very easy to beat) while others like some brain cancers are not as easy.

    I think it's a bit out of her area of expertise to be saying one way or another what may or may not happen to you. It's best to let the specialist decide. With that being said, make sure it's someone you are comfortable with and that they have a sound plan as others have said. If you don't like them, then look for another one in another practice.

    As far as adhesion's go, I had some that put me back in the operating room 2-3 months after my initial surgery so they can (and did) happen quickly. Maybe that's not the norm but no one's ever accused me of being normal...
    Don't try to guess what the one oncologist might be thinking, you can't know so try not to worry yourself about it if possible.
    All the best,