Is a medical onc needed?

Portal Forums Lung/Thoracic Cancer Cancer Basics Survivorship and Follow-up Is a medical onc needed?

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  beanie716 10 months, 1 week ago.

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October 10, 2017 at 11:46 am  #1293292    


I will be celebrating (?) my 11th year since upper lobectomy followed by 4 rounds chemo. 3 years post chemo brain mets were discovered.
I have been scheduling brain MRIs and subsequent gamma knife surgeries with the GK center directly since there were numerous mix ups going through my medical oncs office.

I am with my 4th oncologist and in the past 3 years I have been seeing him he has never phoned to discuss the tests or scans that he ordered. My last chest ct last year he called 2 weeks later to find out if my GP called, he was on vacation. He always has some excuse why he does not call to tell me results and I find this very puzzling to say the least. I had a mammo last Wednesday and left 2 messages and still no call.

Can I just have my follow-ups with my GP at this point?

We have been following some nodules in my lungs for years now and it seems I am left to figure on my own what to make of the reports. Thankfully the hospital e-mails me within hour of my Cts and MRIS.

No so with the breast center mammo.


October 10, 2017 at 6:06 pm  #1293294    
JimC Forum Moderator
JimC Forum Moderator

Hi beanie,

Welcome to GRACE. I’m sorry that you have been getting such poor communication from your oncologist. It seems to me that if he feels the scans are necessary, then he should be reporting the results to you. Although you’ve been doing well for a number of years (congratulations on that!), scans do create a certain level of anxiety (thus the term “scanxiety”), and I don’t understand repeatedly leaving a patient in the dark after a scan.

There are some very accomplished, experienced general practitioners out there, so there is no clear-cut answer as to whether you “need” an oncologist looking at the scans and/or scan reports. If all your GP or oncologist does is pass on the language of the scan report without analyzing it or the scan images, then it might not matter whether you have an oncologist. But the experience of a good oncologist can be helpful in reading between the lines of a scan report, and giving their own interpretation of what is seen in the images.

Forum moderator

Jul 2008 Wife Liz (51/never smoker) Dx Stage IV NSCLC EGFR exon 19
4 cycles Carbo/alimta, 65% shrinkage
Tarceva maintenance
Mar 2010 progression, added Alimta, stable
Sep 2010 multiple brain mets, WBR
Oct 2010 large pericardial effusion, tamponade
Jan 2011 progression, start abraxane
Jun 2011-New liver, brain mets, add Tarceva
Oct 2011-Dx Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; pulsed Tarceva
At rest Nov 4 2011
Since then:

October 11, 2017 at 8:21 am  #1293301    



Thank you for taking the time to help me with my dilemma. Looks like I will be searching for oncologist #5 in the near future. I am waiting for a new script for a chest ct to arrive in the mail. My onc ordered a full torso ct and I see no reason to be exposed to that much radiation. Of course I have no symptoms of concern.

I requested the new script on my 2nd request for the results of my mammo. I received the results of that in the mail yesterday and thankfully all is well.

Thank you!

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