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How would you interpret...?


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First, a little filler info :)

My Dad's GP sent him for a chest x-ray today because she thought a discomfort he's had for the last week could be a cracked rib. Well, he never mentioned to the x-ray technician that he has lung cancer and after taking a few films she came into the room and asked him if he had recently had surgery on the left lung (primary tumor is in the left lung).

Now, I know from my Dad's last CT scan that the tumor has shrunk, although I don't know by how much. My Dad's oncologist never makes survival predictions, which to me is a very good thing, but he also is not big on talking about size of shrinkage. For instance, when he told us that the tumor had shrunk and I asked by how much, he replied, "that's not important, what is important is that it hasn't grown and there is no new growth." Hard to argue with that, I guess :) and the reason I haven't pushed is because, suppose the shrinkage was minimal, I know this would be a discouragement for my Dad and it would no doubt impact his attitude negatively. My Dad has never asked to see scan reports and he was happy just to know there was shrinkage...now if it was me, I'd have to know every detail...In any case, and to get to the point of my post, finally :) , how would you interpret the technicians question about the surgery? I would imagine if she saw an obvious mass she would have said nothing...being only the tech and all so, I'm baffled by what she saw that would prompt her comment. Could there have been so much shrinkage that the mass doesn't look like a mass anymore? I'm interested in any and all theory's :) I know I wouldn't have to be playing a guessing game if I just got the reports but my Dad would have to sign the release and knowing that I had the reports it would only be natural for him then to ask about them...even though he hasn't with the Doctor. My strategy is to keep Dad positive and looking forward, and that's what we've done.

p.s. I feel I should add that Dad's oncologist is a very nice and kind man, because in writing, his comments about the shrinkage probably sound cold and uncaring and he's not at all.

I apologize now for this VERY long post.

God Bless you all.

Best Always,


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Hi Lynda,

Maybe it is a cracked rib - I have had two thoracotomies and each time they have taken pieces of two ribs to get to the lung. Maybe the tech was seeing a crack and thought he had had lung surgery. Just a guess. I hope all is well and it is nothing more than a cracked rib. Take care.


Nancy B

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Hi Lynda, I know techs aren't supposed to comment, but my tech came out and asked if I felt OK when she found my tumor. I think they are wondering if the x-ray film was bad/foggy. They are probably wondering if they need to take another picture, or if they are really seeing an abnormality. Barb

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