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Thread: How long does it take to see an Oncologist?

  1. #1
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    How long does it take to see an Oncologist?

    My 77 year old father has been sick for over a year with a myriad of illnesses(polycystic kidney disease, bowel obstruction) but really perked back up this spring. When I say perked up, I mean walking with a cane instead of walker and fixing a sandwich by himself. Anyway, a month ago it was like he fell off a cliff. A come and go fever 99-100 but no infection showed up on blood tests, and a generally lethargy that has progressed to him only spending about five hours a day out of the bed. His eyes have gotten really dark and sunken and he's dropped ten pounds in less than a month.

    So last week his doc admitted him to the hospital for tests. His CT scan with dye came back with this result -

    Multiple metastatic lung nodules bilaterally. No central PE. Several mildly enlarged right axillary lymph noes. Coronary artery atherosclerosis.

    Bilateral adrenal nodules. Multiple hypodense lesions within the liver and spleen up to 4 cm. Autosomal polyscytic kidneys. Mild right lymphadenopathy. Normal small bowel, colon and appendix.

    His doc referred us to an oncologist but she never actually said, 'he has cancer." I kept missing her at the hospital and she ended up calling me at work with the results and she's got a heavy accent and darned it I can tell you what she said. I got the above results from his medical records.

    My question to you lovely people is....do doctors normally avoid the cancer word till you see an oncologist? And we are still waiting for the referral. How long does it possibly take. Also....it says "mestastic lung nodules."...does that translate into lung cancer?

    Thank you for anyone that replies. My dad is old and so sick and I know he's going to go sooner than later and I'm OK with that now. I just want to know what it is that is killing him. He does too.

    catwings

  2. #2

    Oncologists Only Deal With Cancer

    I'm not sure why your doctor is avoiding the "cancer" word. If he/she is referring your father to an oncologist, he has cancer. That's what oncologists do. Perhaps this doctor thinks there's no need to actually say the "c-word" or that it will be to harsh; they may be expecting you to put two and two together from the doctor referral. Or perhaps it's just the language barrier.

    However, I'm not sure why you haven't received your referral. It shouldn't take too long for you to get an appointment, especially since your dad is newly diagnosed. If you don't receive the referral soon (like a day or so), feel free to push the doctor. In fact, start pushing now. Ask them questions. It's your right.

    As for the metastatic lung nodules, I can't tell you if it's lung cancer or something else. Metastatic means the cancer has spread through the body, so it's possible that he has another type of cancer and it's spread to the lungs. Of course, it's possible that it originated in the lungs, too. That's what you'll need the oncologist to tell you, unless there's someone on this forum who had the same symptoms and your dad and can tell you what they had.

    I hope some of this helps.
    Kari Eileen -- Stage IV Hodgkin's Lymphoma survivor and representative of maddoxoncology.com

  3. #3
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    Thank you so much for your response!

  4. #4
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    Hopefully you get in ASAP and get some answers!
    My dad was diag w/nsclc stage 4 & mets to spine & hips on 11/08 at age 43. Large mass on R lung & collapsed L lung. No surgery so chemo & rad 5d/wk. No results. 4/09 rushed to the hospital b/c breathing issues. Hooked up to o2 & treated for infection. Released when o2 levels were good w/help from Hospice at home. In Hospice as of 6/2/09. Passed 6/10/09. Missing you forever daddy.

  5. #5

    Re: How long does it take to see an Oncologist?

    Quote Originally Posted by catwings
    My 77 year old father has been sick for over a year with a myriad of illnesses(polycystic kidney disease, bowel obstruction) but really perked back up this spring. When I say perked up, I mean walking with a cane instead of walker and fixing a sandwich by himself. Anyway, a month ago it was like he fell off a cliff. A come and go fever 99-100 but no infection showed up on blood tests, and a generally lethargy that has progressed to him only spending about five hours a day out of the bed. His eyes have gotten really dark and sunken and he's dropped ten pounds in less than a month.

    So last week his doc admitted him to the hospital for tests. His CT scan with dye came back with this result -

    Multiple metastatic lung nodules bilaterally. No central PE. Several mildly enlarged right axillary lymph noes. Coronary artery atherosclerosis.

    Bilateral adrenal nodules. Multiple hypodense lesions within the liver and spleen up to 4 cm. Autosomal polyscytic kidneys. Mild right lymphadenopathy. Normal small bowel, colon and appendix.

    His doc referred us to an oncologist but she never actually said, 'he has cancer." I kept missing her at the hospital and she ended up calling me at work with the results and she's got a heavy accent and darned it I can tell you what she said. I got the above results from his medical records.

    My question to you lovely people is....do doctors normally avoid the cancer word till you see an oncologist? And we are still waiting for the referral. How long does it possibly take. Also....it says "mestastic lung nodules."...does that translate into lung cancer?

    Thank you for anyone that replies. My dad is old and so sick and I know he's going to go sooner than later and I'm OK with that now. I just want to know what it is that is killing him. He does too.

    catwings
    First of all, I am not a doctor or a specialist. But all I can say is that, your doctor is probably avoiding the cancer word cuz he might be thinking that he can possibly make his patient loose hope or react hysterically. But I believe that it is his duly obligation to tell you what your dad is feeling or what's his health situation. Metastatic is also known as cancer or tumor. If you're doctor said that your dad has this, then it means taht your dad should be referred to an onco right away for further testings and medical examinations.

  6. #6
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    Again, thanks for the response. I've talked to the doctor's office and they say they are waiting to hear back from the oncologists office. It's been nine days ago since his CT results came back (including weekend days) so I'm getting antsy but am trying to be patient.

    Meanwhile, his health and strength are continuing to deteriorate every day.

 
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