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Should I get a 2nd opinion?

Posts: 48
Joined: Jan 2018

Happy Friday everyone...

I've been experiencing a lot of deep bone pain and tiredness, yesterday I went to see my family doctor who is aware of cancer dx.

I explained how tired I have been and the pain I"ve been having this past week. When he looked into my recent blood work, it showed my hemoglobin and magnesium levels are low.

When I went to see my oncologist a few weeks back I explained my tiredness , and asked about my results he said I was fine. My blood work was good. Yet it was not good. Apparently, this is since Dec 2017. I ve been running around not feeling good and yet my oncologist said my blood work was ok.

And why is my hemoglobin on the low side? Is this becasue of the cancer? My oncologist said i'm in remission..since I don't need treatments...just observation for now. Every 3 months.

And on another note, he never followed up about my lung scan that should 2 solid nodules in both lungs a long with thickening. I had to call and ask, and then it was decided to do a repeat CT scan, scheduled for this March.


Should I seek another opinion?

Is this common with oncologists? I'm not making excuses, but is it possible because they are so busy...a lot patients...etc.

I'm frustrated, confused all at the same time.


Appreciate the advice.thoughts?

Posts: 244
Joined: Jan 2016

It is possible you could be anemic. Low hemoglobin levels mean your red blood cells
don't have enough oxygen to carry to your tissues.  That could be why you are
tired. Normally you would also have low ferritin levels along with the low hemoglobin
levels.  There are different types of anemia- you could also be low
in Vitamin B12 and folate. Anemia can be caused by chemo but I believe you haven't
had any chemo.

The first thing I woudl do is have your GP order tests for ferritin, Vitamin B12 and folate.
Your doctor might add more. Then you can better know what is going on.

If you are low in some of these basic vitamins or iron, you can take supplements and start eating
the proper foods.  Vitamin C rich foods help your body absorb more iron. I would
bet none of your doctors tested for these basic vitamins and minerals.

This is not surprising with oncologists.  I find they don't seem to care about the
conditions that they may think are not cancer related.  But your GP should
be able to address this. 

You need to be in charge. Do you have the copy of your scan that details the 
lung nodules?  How large are they?  Without a biopsy, you can't confirm
cancer. You don't just want to start sticking needles in your organs. But your
oncologist should have discussed the nodules with you and that he wanted
to do a follow-up in 3 months.  Maybe he is looking to see if they get any larger.
What Stage, Grade and type was your cancer?

You need to take control of your cancer. Hence my name, takingcontrol.
You may find that you will need to start telling your doctors what blood tests
you want. 


Posts: 48
Joined: Jan 2018

thank you so much for the reply...means a lot ! so much going on...i feel like my mind is spinning..

i have stage 1 A, grade 1, with lymphovascular invasion LVSI was present in my pathology report, however no lymph nodes were affected...my oncologist said im at an intermediate risk - do even no what that means? 3 levels to LVSI he said. Low, intermediate and high risk..

no chemo or radiation/ the tumor board decided on observation every 3 months...


I have 2 nodules that are soliditary nodules, both are 3 mm on is in the lower left lobe and the other is upper middle right lobe..also have thickening in center of my chest...my oncologist suggested a 3 month CT scan ...this march to see if any changes...

My family doctor suggested to take iron, vitamin C and magensium supplements..see if my symptoms improve however he did mention that i should discuss this with my oncologist in April, at my next appointment...


I agree with taking control of "cancer" seems that we are our only best advocate...


Thank you again. Hugs

Posts: 244
Joined: Jan 2016

Undless your doctor does more blood tests, it is not accurate to
assume you should take more iron.  Iron supplements and dosage have to
be monitored very closely and I understand they can cause 
constipation. I wouldn't start taking iron supplements unless you
know for sure you are anemic. You need to test your ferritin levels. 
Iron also grows cancer so you don't want to take too much and you
have to use a certain formulation.

How low is your hemoglobin?

Why your family doctor is sending you back to the oncologist is crazy. He's
your doctor and should treat you. If he is a general practioner, he should
be able to diagnose and give you the right blood tests to determine if you
are anemic.  It could be something else too.


EZLiving66's picture
Posts: 1363
Joined: Oct 2015

As I've mentioned many times,  my oncologist would have probably killed me if it wasn't for my GP. As my GP explained,  his job is to kill the cancer.  My job is to make sure he doesn't kill YOU!



Posts: 48
Joined: Jan 2018

your GP put it nicely into prespective...

love back XOX Elena

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