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Do You Look at Test Results?

sandy23
sandy23 Member Posts: 143
edited July 2017 in Kidney Cancer #1

My husband has his first scans next week since having his right kidney removed in March.  Worried doesn't even begin to describe what I am feeling but I know that you all can understand that.  He doesn't see the doctor until the following week.  His results should be in the patient portal before then but I am not sure if we should look.  What if it says something bad that we don't understand?  But at the same time, isn't it better to be prepared before the doctor's visit?  What do you guys do?

Comments

  • Bay Area Guy
    Bay Area Guy Member Posts: 521 **
    I look at every result, every

    I look at every result, every time, no matter what the test is.

  • medic1971
    medic1971 Member Posts: 205
    You're doctor

    As a nurse who currently works full-time in clinical informatics, in my opinion, it is irresponsible for a provider not to notify the patient before the test results are posted online.  I would expect a phone call at minimum.  

    But that doesn't answer your question...   

    I would read it was posted online, because I have no patience.  If you do read it online just stick to the section called "Impression".  If you see anything on the report that concerns you call your doctor right away.

    Hang in there. 

     

  • rhominator
    rhominator Member Posts: 233
    edited July 2017 #4
    For entertainment purposes only

    I always preview the scan imagery and results before the visit with my oncologist.  I can't tell you how many times I scared myself trying to self-diagnose by looking at the imagery and results before visiting the Dr.  But the oncologist has proved me wrong far too often.  :-)  So I do it now mainly for enlightenment/enjoyment but I don't put much weight on my conclusions.

  • Jan4you
    Jan4you Member Posts: 1,327
    For me, I always get my

    For me, I always get my radiologist's reports so I am prepared to ask questions or get clarifications. Often I have the report before the referring doctor has seen it. But, I have other medical conditions that each affect the other, so I have been getting my own copies of reports. Not everyone can understand a radiologist's reports and may worry needlessly or have their fear relieved. I also know that the Radiologist does not have the final say. It is important to know that fact. They only have one piece to the person your doctor knows best. 

    Again, each person is different. Each has their own ability to cope with both good and bad news. 

    Jan

  • donna_lee
    donna_lee Member Posts: 1,018
    Before Patient Portals...

    As is in the olden days, my Onc. nurse would call be with the results if she knew I was really anxious about them, especially the first couple of years.  Now I just wait till I see her or the Dr., have her/him go over it with me and ask for a copy.

    Waiting for the first CT after surgery is probably one of the most stressfull things there is.  The one thing I am aware of is that my Onc. nurse's husband, an opthalmologist, had Lymphoma about 10-12 years ago, went thru treatment successfully, and is still practicing.  For someone who's been a hands on observer in the patient care of cancer; she, too, has admitted to being stressed.

    If it's hot where you live-and I think the whole US is yellow, orange or red; pop a cold beer and relax in the shade.

    Hugs to ya' both.

    donna_lee

  • Dutch1
    Dutch1 Member Posts: 152
    If you're going to read the

    If you're going to read the report in any event (rather than relying only on the short oral version given to you by your doctor), consider reading the report the night before you and your husband go in for the appointment with the doc.  That way, you will have your questions about the report ready for the face-to-face with the doc.  It beats e-mailing questions and waiting for a nurse's version of the doc's reply.  Looking at the report too far in advance gives you too much time to worry about unfamiliar language that might sound ominous to you but might be totally innocent medical jargon that can be easily explained. That's why I'd suggest waiting before looking at the report.  I've had stuff in my reports which sounded concerning to me, but was really not a big deal.

    In the future, can you get your scans scheduled closer to the following doctor's appointment?  This waiting business is for the birds.

    Best wishes.

    Dutch

     

     

  • stub1969
    stub1969 Member Posts: 933 **
    I can't imagine

    I really do consider myself lucky that the practice at Mayo in Rochester, MN has been to  have scans and blood work early in the morning then meet with the doctor (or a member of his team) late morning or early afternoon.  The couple hours I have to wait are pretty rough--I can't imagine waiting a week or more. 

    To answer your question--yes, I'd read it.  If things were not good then I'd reach out to members here and on Smart Patients for advice and their perspective.  If things were good--well then I'd celebrate early:)

    Good luck!

    Stub

  • foxhd
    foxhd Member Posts: 3,181
    Always be prepared

    to learn what is going on when given the chance. You want to be informed of all the health trends relating to your care. It can be a bad feeling to find that your doctor and you have different ideas. I've had lots of radiation for bone mets. I'm doing well. Others have had extensive orthopedic surgeries. No thank you. In other words you want to be sure about decisions you make. Be informed. Besides, in my experience, Drs. like active participation with pts. Saves time. Getting down to business with mutual understandig.

  • Steve.Adam
    Steve.Adam Member Posts: 463
    edited July 2017 #10

    For entertainment purposes only

    I always preview the scan imagery and results before the visit with my oncologist.  I can't tell you how many times I scared myself trying to self-diagnose by looking at the imagery and results before visiting the Dr.  But the oncologist has proved me wrong far too often.  :-)  So I do it now mainly for enlightenment/enjoyment but I don't put much weight on my conclusions.

    Funny shapes...

    I looked at my first ct scan films after peeing blood. The report was not with the films. I had no idea what might be wrong but had an idea I might have some kind of prostate problem.

    While I was looking at the images I noticed that my kidneys were different shapes. 'Isn't that funny', I thought then completely ignored it.

    So... I guess I know my limitations...

    Steve.

  • cubsfan9
    cubsfan9 Member Posts: 69 **
    I read it in advance!

    Good Morning!

    My husband doesn't want to know!  However, as the researcher/caregiver I need to read the report ahead of time so that I can ask questions.  As others have mentioned, much of the jargon is beyond my comprehension, but I at least have a general idea of what to expect.  Fortunately, most of his scans have shown stability!

  • hardo718
    hardo718 Member Posts: 853
    My 2 cents

    I definitely view my reports as soon as they are released to me.  Then, if I have questions, I know what I want answers to.  I have a medical background so I understand most of the report and if I don't understand I know who to contact.  But if you aren't familiar, my experience is that at the very bottom of the radiologists interpretation it will have a section referred to as "conclusion", typically that is written in a non-medical jargon format, if you will.

    Best wishes,

    Donna~

  • sandy23
    sandy23 Member Posts: 143
    medic1971 said:

    You're doctor

    As a nurse who currently works full-time in clinical informatics, in my opinion, it is irresponsible for a provider not to notify the patient before the test results are posted online.  I would expect a phone call at minimum.  

    But that doesn't answer your question...   

    I would read it was posted online, because I have no patience.  If you do read it online just stick to the section called "Impression".  If you see anything on the report that concerns you call your doctor right away.

    Hang in there. 

     

    I hadn't thought about them

    I hadn't thought about them calling before the results are in the patient portal.  Is that what most you guys have known to be true?  Does your doctor's office call with the results?

  • medic1971
    medic1971 Member Posts: 205
    edited July 2017 #14
    sandy23 said:

    I hadn't thought about them

    I hadn't thought about them calling before the results are in the patient portal.  Is that what most you guys have known to be true?  Does your doctor's office call with the results?

    In person

    At MD Anderson I have my scans done on Sunday and then get results the next day in the office. 

  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,357 **
    edited July 2017 #15
    hardo718 said:

    My 2 cents

    I definitely view my reports as soon as they are released to me.  Then, if I have questions, I know what I want answers to.  I have a medical background so I understand most of the report and if I don't understand I know who to contact.  But if you aren't familiar, my experience is that at the very bottom of the radiologists interpretation it will have a section referred to as "conclusion", typically that is written in a non-medical jargon format, if you will.

    Best wishes,

    Donna~

    Just got back from 15 year Ultrasound

    Tech said tiny cyst they  are watching on the kidney that is left (right kidney) is still there and nothing  to worry about. Will see Uro in about a month for results and URO handshake (Prostate Exam). I was nephed on August 1, 2002.

     

    Icemantoo

  • daisybud
    daisybud Member Posts: 521
    I also

    I also just had my ultrasound and chest xray and I went and picked up result next day bc my dr doesn't re lease in a portal till after I sent him.  My gp always releases in his portal.  it'sannoying that onoc doesn't. I want to know too so I know what to ask .

    Ned Again! 

    Kim

  • Positive_Mental_Attitude
    Positive_Mental_Attitude Member Posts: 454
    edited July 2017 #17
    Add me to the list of folks

    Add me to the list of folks who reads before going in case there are questions.  Google is a wonderful thiing to look up all of those crossword puzzle words.