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Was my doctor inept?

denistd's picture
Posts: 583
Joined: Apr 2009

On the 17th of September I went for my annual CT scan of neck and chest. In the afternoon at my Oncologist appoint ment he said that the scan showed no change, was all clear except for the nodule that showed up in May. He said he was absolutely certain all was ok and he would see me next September. The next day there was a message on my machine to call him back. I did and he said it looks like I have lung cancer and he was scheduling a biopsy for me. He said that the nodule had slightly increased in size and showed characteristics of cancer. I had the biopsy last Tuesday (still no results). My family doctor was not sure what happened but said wait and see the reults of the biopsy. Yesterday I got a call from scheduling to set up my next September cat scan. I told the girl what was going on and she said she would call me back, she did and said she had spoke to the doctor and he said schedule nothing. Is this doctor, who I have had the utmost respect for, inept or just mistaken, was he just too quick to say everything was alright before making sure? Denis

hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

The way it sounds, at the very least he certainly jumped the gun. If it is cancer, I guess they will tell you if it is mets or another primary. Will keep you in prayers that nodule is not cancer.

Billie67's picture
Posts: 843
Joined: Jul 2012

For the frustration you must be feeling at the very least. I don't know how Dr's can leave people hanging like that.
That being said I hope that it turns out to be nothing but if it is cancer I can't help but think it's a good sign that it hasn't changed a whole lot in a year.
I will pray for peace for you as you wait the results and also for a clean bill of health.
Take good care.

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

I would call them Monday or whenever and tell them that you are totally confused...

Ask them to explain what the heck is going on, that they are causing you a roller coaster of emotions.

That is kind of rediculous to put you through that anxiety.....


Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1511
Joined: Nov 2011

...my opinion of course. I don't know what made him look at it again or maybe he thought of it some more and really analyzed it and saw that it had grown slightly....

Not that any of this is good or comforting, but can you imagine if he had not given you that call the next day?? It would have been a year before you next scan if I read that correctly.

You know, seeing your post it makes me think we all should get 2nd opionion or ask our doctors to "take another look" if there is something suspicious or even different. As H&N we are all at higher risk of mets to other parts of the body, heck, I would think anyone with cancer if something pops up like what you had back in May it should be throughly investigested....

I lean more with skiffin on this one ....of course you can be polite about it, but I certainly think you should not go through this anxiety a day longer

Praying the best Denis .....I want that biopsy to be just some infection or scar tissue!!!



D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1576
Joined: Jan 2010

Medicine is an inexact science. My Stanford doc always looks at the scans immediately, and gives me his 'off-the-cuff' opinion regarding what he thinks he sees. Later on, the physician in charge of reviewing the scan will interpret it and write up the formal report. He's the expert on exactly what is happening. My thought was that your doctor gave it his best shot, but the changes were so subtle that they weren't apparent to him. After the scans had been reviewed by an expert, the changes were noted.


Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2196
Joined: Nov 2009

How incredibly frustrating! It does really sound like at least one person took their eyes off the ball.

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

Sounds like a lot of the same stuff I go through all the times dealing with doctors. Just can’t get a straight story out of them with some facts, no matter what I go to see them about it is always radiation side effects. Anyway don’t give up till you have a clear answer from someone.


Puggle's picture
Posts: 90
Joined: Aug 2011

Most of the time when my husband gets his scans he is meeting with his doctors on the same day. If the "official" reading by the radiologist isn't complete yet the doctor will review the scans with us and give us their opinion but make sure to clarify that they will call if there is anything different noted after the official review.

It sounds like your doctor just spoke a bit too soon. Still hoping you receive good news on your biopsy results. 21

Kent Cass
Posts: 1898
Joined: Nov 2009

What Deb said. And, keep moving forward, and with the Positive.


fisrpotpe's picture
Posts: 1349
Joined: Aug 2010

i believe the doctors are sometimes human, they have so much going on and so many clients along with if they are having a rough personal day. so they tend to forget all they have shared and do not always give the complete details plan or results that we all expect to be top notch.

as already has been said, take a moment and call the doc and expect him to have to call you back as he is probably busy and tell him you are confused and need to be updated with thoughts and plan.

if your unhappy with your doc after that it maybe time to find another, always best to have confidence in the doc's who have you in there hands.

prayers for wisdom and understanding


denistd's picture
Posts: 583
Joined: Apr 2009

Did try to speak with him today as I have not yet got the results of the biopsy. His nurse called me back and said that they will probably have the results tomorrow, that has been a week of waiting, very anxious. Denis

nick770's picture
Posts: 195
Joined: May 2012

Hang In there, i look forward to what your true test results are. One thing I have learned for myself is not to totally count on the Drs and staff to always do what they say they will do , so i have learned to be proactive in my care.

Best of everything to you

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