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barbvh

What is average wait tiem for scan results?

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Hi all,

I wonder what is the average time people wait from their scan to results appointment. I am having repeat scans to check on questionable nodes on the 16th. My results appointment was set for the 19th and my mind was set as well. A few days ago I got a call from my oncs office that they had rescheduled my appointment to Feb 2, 17 days after my scan. I did not freak, but told them it was not acceptable. After a few calls it is now set for 1/27, only 11 days after my scan. Still not very happy, but after speaking to a patient advocate it looks like this is it.

To top it off this happened at my last scan last October. This is a new onc as my other one retired. When I ask if this is her norm, no one will give me an answer. In Oct they offered a verbal from the nurse. I did get that just a few days after the scan. He said everything was stable, yet when i finally saw the doc she told me about 2 new questionable nodes.

Sorry this is so long. I needed to vent.

Thanks for listening.

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It sounds like they have the results quickly they are just having issues getting you in to get them. You could ask them to fax you the report before the appointment- we used to do that if there was a delay. Then you will have your copy to go over at the apt.

It's good you are advocating for yourself. You shouldn't have to wait that long for your results.

Rochelle

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Thanks Rochelle. I did ask for the reports to be faxed last time when the RN gave me the verbal. They said that they could not fax them until I spoke with the doc. I have only had great experiences until now and hope that these are rare occurences. I am not the best at waiting, but will try to be better at it.

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They said that they could not fax them until I spoke with the doc.

That's my situation too with the radiologist's written reports. However, I've found that the imaging centers I use are very willing to burn a CD of that day's scan which I can take with me when I leave. The first time I asked for this, they also made CDs of the two preceding scans done at that center.

When I get home, I can look at the new scan side-by-side with the images that had received previous written comment. At least that gives me something to do in the days before my onc appointment, and so far the only surprises have been in areas that hadn't been commented on before.

Okay, color me weird. :roll:

Ned

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Hi Barb. There are many of us here who could vent about the length of time to get scan results! I think it varies significantly. At most I don' t think there is any reason why one should have to wait any more than a few days. And that centres should just automatically schedule follow up appts in that time frame.

I have recently joined the Patient Advisory Council at our clinic and will be tabling that issue.

What I have found though is that the written report from scans is usually available from the records dept at the clinic much quicker than a scheduled follow up appt. That helps but usually just leads to more uanswered questions.

Sadly, many of us wait much longer than we need to. Here's hoping for good results on your latest.

Sandra

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Hi, my husband and I are both in the medical field. I can tell you that they always have the results within 24 hours and probably the same day. I am sure they can be sent to you and or the Dr's office immediately. My mom always has the radiology department send me a faxed report. I seem to receive that the same day as her scan. I can understand the logistics of sending the report so that the Dr. will have it in his hand when you are in the office, but I think a few days is more than adequate for that I'm so sorry you have to wait so long. It's really not fair to ask that of a patient. Shelley

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I get my medical care from the VA, and they are bad about making you wait. This last scan, I called and was able to get a quicker appointment with the oncologist (they had originally scheduled me over 3 weeks after the scan).

The scan before last, a compassionate scan tech, looking at my history and commenting on how much I had been through, told me right after the scan that it looked good to him.

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The way it works for me at a teaching college is the test is typically in the am with the appointment for the results that afternoon. I, like most I think tend to go crazy waiting on the results.

I remember earlier when I was testing locally and my sleeping really suffered for the week of waiting.

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At my centre the image results are immediately available on the system and can be accessed by any one of a number of doctors involved with my care. Generally, there's a delay of approximately a week before I can see my oncologist to discuss the results; however, the written radiologist's report is available before that and I will often obtain a copy prior to my oncologist visit. Although there are often unanswered questions with this approach I do find that I am better prepared when I do see the oncologist.

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OK, the most amazing thing in this whole thread is that Ned reads his own scans!!

At my center, the scans go into the system right away. Typically, I have a scan on a day that I'm supposed to have treatment. I have labs, then the scan, then I go see the oncologist. He reads the scan and gives me the results (consulting with the radiologist if necessary). If they're good, we proceed with the treatment. I get the radiologist's report either at the end of the day's treatment or the next time I go in (depending upon whether it's ready in time).

I can't think of a more ideal system (unless I were to hand-carry the films to Hawaii for Ned to read while I gaze into the Pacific!).--Neil

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Thanks everyone for all the feedback. My scan is Friday and as of right now I am going to go and get the results from medical records next Monday afternoon. I'll keep you posted.

Barb VH

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I guess we're both weird, Ned, because I, too, always got a CD of my scans (MRIs, etc.) and checked them out myself first--to the extent I could--when I got home.

As to when I got the "official" results, the radiologist always emailed those to my oncologist who looked at the report and scan himself and then immediately forwarded the results to me along with his own comments.

In other words, no waiting for a appointment.

In my opinion, those patients who have to wait for an appointment are patients who have oncologists who have a cruel and humane "policy" made by themselves and for themselves, with no regard for their patients.

Affectionately (toward my fellow patients, not toward oncologists with stupid policies),

Carole

PS I use the past tense because I no longer have to worry about scananxiety due to being on hospice and having no need for scans! :D

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.--George Carlin

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At the Clinic, I have a scan the day before my appointment to see the doc. Even that 24 hours kills me so I definitely can see how waiting a week or two would be more than people can take.

I do not understand why your onc cannot call you with results. Or - just schedule the scan the day before the appointment with your onc.

Docs need to realize how scans affect us and the anxiety that goes along with getting them. Its cruel of them to make people wait that long.

Good luck with your scan, Barb!!!

Hugs - Patti B.

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I schuedule my scans the same time I schuedule my OC appoint. I get them 2 days apart, the tech told me results in 24 hours. I can't even wait 2 days so I always call my OC's nurse and she tells me the results the next day. I can't imagine waiting a week or more for my results! They would definitely be writting me lots of RX's for xanax! :roll:

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