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How long do doctor's run tests before there is any treatment plan.

Kat4877
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2009

My husband's cancer was found on a cat scan done for blood in urine. This was in abdomin area. Later scans showed it in the lung. He has had a bronchoscopy which was non-specific as to cancer cells. Now he is to be scheduled for a cat scan guided needle biopsy of the lung. We are waiting for notice of the appointment for that. It has been two months and no real direction except to say he may be transferred to a thorasic surgeon.

QUESTION: Is this length of time normal before any treatment plan? We are going into month three. Fighting some anxiety about if we may be wasting valuable time.

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

It is necessary to get a good diagnosis to make a decent treatment plan. The chemotherapy that will work on one kind of cancer won't necessarily make a bit of difference to another kind of cancer. Until the path report comes in, they will not know what kind of cancer it is and how to treat it.It is very hard to get appointments in August because of vacations and holidays. I found myself very frustratated getting diagnosed during the summer and managed to do it twice: once with breast cancer and once with lung cancer. It helps to get on the phone and start calling your insurance company for options. Sometimes your insurance will direct you to another doctor or clinic that could see you sooner. Right now things at teaching universities should be gearing up and it may be easier to get to a thoracic specialist. That is a lung specialist that can design a treatment plan and do surgery if indicated. I hope you are able to reach one soon. Good luck!

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

It is necessary to get a good diagnosis to make a decent treatment plan. The chemotherapy that will work on one kind of cancer won't necessarily make a bit of difference to another kind of cancer. Until the path report comes in, they will not know what kind of cancer it is and how to treat it.It is very hard to get appointments in August because of vacations and holidays. I found myself very frustratated getting diagnosed during the summer and managed to do it twice: once with breast cancer and once with lung cancer. It helps to get on the phone and start calling your insurance company for options. Sometimes your insurance will direct you to another doctor or clinic that could see you sooner. Right now things at teaching universities should be gearing up and it may be easier to get to a thoracic specialist. That is a lung specialist that can design a treatment plan and do surgery if indicated. I hope you are able to reach one soon. Good luck!

hansie
Posts: 37
Joined: Jul 2008

we started with paraneoplastic symptoms in july of 07,finaly got a definate diagnossis in nov 07 and started treatments in jan 08.That wait was the longest time in my life.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

Kat, I was diagnosed in June of '07 with maybe 10 months to live. It changed my life, you can be sure. Within a couple or three months, additional tests and analyses determined that the intitial thing was completely wrong.

Sometimes, it is better to be sure.

Almost always, it is better to be sure.

Cancer is a gnarly thing and it does not adhere to our timetables. We are fortunate in that our doctors, the best of them, recognize this and do not overdo it.

I would advise, to answer your first and real question, that while two months seems like a long time, while three months, especially, seems like an excruciatingly long time, sometimes this is necessary in order to get the RIGHT results, the CORRECT results.

Cancer, it turns out, is not often in the big hurry that we are, despite what we think we know about it.

It is not, for example, a necessary death sentence. It can be. It sometimes is. I won't lie to you about that. But often, as people on this very site can attest, it is not a death sentence.

Sometimes it is an inconvenience. Sometimes, dare I say it (?), it is even an eye-opener and a license to live a better life.

This won't be easy. Can't lie about that either. Your job will probably, almost certainly, be harder than hub's. He 'merely' has to survive, while you have to care for him. I would rather be him than you, and I say that as a survivor.

If you are troubled by the length of time, call and talk to someone in the doctor's office, not a receptionist, but a nurse. In fact, please recognize that they work for you. I am not advising that you bother them day after day, but I am suggesting strongly that you talk to someone, the doctor preferably, sufficiently to feel comfortable with the treatment and the time.

This is not a game.

And they work for you, for your husband. Insist on talking to them, insist on knowing why this is dragging out, at least to you.

Anything we say in here is really not enough. You need for the person treating your husband to tell you why it is dragging on, in your mind, even if we in here find it somewhat par for the course.

Best wishes to your husband and his family.

Take care,

Joe

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