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Diagnosis/Staging Timeline: how long did it take?


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Hi everyone.

I'm trying to gauge how much I think this is normal or unreasonable. I'm not sure whether I should be trying to push my dad to go elsewhere.

In March, my dad went to the hospital after coughing up some blood. They took a chest x-ray but didn't see anything that looked out of the ordinary.

It didn't clear up, so early April (April 5) he went back and got a CT scan. They found a 5cm mass in his lung. After that, he had a PET scan and an MRI. (Brain clear, only thing that lit up was one spot on his liver)

A 1cm spot on his liver lit up, so they did a biopsy.
May 3rd, liver biopsy. They said no cancer. They wanted to redo it.
May 17th, second biopsy. Negative. They decided they want to do a surgical biopsy to make sure, though.
June 16th will be his third biopsy. They said he'd be in the hospital 4 days and have a recovery time of about 4 weeks.

So, if it is negative again, we're looking at about July before we can actually start treatment on his lung cancer. That's 4 months after he first went in, which seems so long. Who knows how much it is spreading during this time.

He is getting all his care at the VA, despite having insurance. They told him wait times are similar everywhere. Does this sound like a reasonable timeline to you guys? Should I be pushing hard for him to try to go somewhere else? He has good insurance... I am not sure why he chooses to go with the VA, other than he says he feels comfortable there.

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Four months does sound long but one months was focused on resolving the liver tumor. Still three months is excessive. My definitive diagnosis took about 6 weeks. 

I think it is important for one to have a choice of treatment centers. If your dad is happy, I wouldn't press him to change. 

Stay the course. 


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