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Breast diagnostic clinic wouldn't give results over phone but booked appointment with surgeo...

Breast diagnostic clinic wouldn't give results over phone but booked appointment with surgeon

Posted by Buddy65 on Jul 19, 2020 2:11 am

I just need to vent ... i went for a mammogram on June 22nd, on July 7th I had an ultrasound, more mammograms and a biopsy at the hospital breast clinic and on July 9th I had a breast MRI.

There is zero cancer in my large family, I am 54 and in good physical shape, I don't drink alcohol or smoke, I have never had hormone therapy, and I started my period at 14 and menopause at 44. I have 2 children and I try to live a healthy life style. 

I can't remember when I first noticed my left breast was becoming much larger because it was always larger than the right breast. I thought about getting a mammogram, since I haven't had one since 2008, but with COVID .... plus there was no lump and my whole breast had shooting pain but was not tender. I always thought cancer didn't hurt.

In June I knew something was not right but after diagnosing myself with Dr. Google I seriously thought it was a breast infection. When I received a call a few days after my mammogram and told that they were quite certain I had breast cancer and I needed an urgent biopsy I was shocked. In my immediate and extended family (aunts and cousins) there are over 30 women and not one has had any type of cancer.

None of that really has anything to do with the point of this post other than to give others who are waiting for a diagnosis. 

I have not received any of my results from the biopsy or MRI yet. I don't have a family doctor and the doctor who gave me a requisition and results for the mammogram was a virtual doctor I have never met. The breast clinic called me last Wednesday (July 14th?) and said they were still waiting for results of mri and I asked about the results of biopsy but they could not tell me. Then on Thursday morning they left a message that my mri results were still not back but the surgeon could see me in the afternoon. I called back 2 hours later and was told the spot was filled. They told me the surgeon was going on holidays and couldn't see me until July 28th ... 12 days later. Then they said ... "did I mention to you that if imaging calls you to take more pictures not to worry!"?? I didn't really take that in until I  hung up. Was she just trying to cover herself by confirming she told me that or was she trying to give me hope or what? Obviously the only reason I would be seeing the surgeon is because I have breast cancer, correct?

Sorry for long post but it helped organize everything in my brain. Any input would be appreciated. Thank you.

Re: Breast diagnostic clinic wouldn't give results over phone but booked appointment with surgeon

Posted by cancertakesflight on Jul 19, 2020 8:15 am

Buddy65‍ I can understand your frustration on so many fronts. I will see if i can deal with a few of them. 

Why you...Unfortunely even people who do all the right things can still get cancer. There are no guarantees, yet it still doesn't feel fair. Fortunately, if you are diagnosed with cancer, you will be in better shape to go through the treatments.

No lump...I didn't have a lump either. After going through cancer, seeing signs with only references to lumps is very irritating to me. There are at least possible symptoms. Check out the Know Your Lemons campaign. 

Surgeon...after my mammogram and ultrasound I went to see a surgeon. I cant remember if it was my surgeon or gp who triggered my biopsy. My surgeon wanted an MRI done but tje radialogist turned down the request and i was ultimately sent to another city and surgeon to have my tests completed. 

Notification...No one likes the wait. Some people are ok with getting their information over the phone and others prefer to have it in person. Perhaps no one has given you answers because there is still some question about what they would tell you if there might be more tests. I can only guess and have been known to be wrong. 😉

I would be extremely irritated to have to postpone getting my results, especially for two weeks.I assume that your doctor is gone by now but most doctors have emergency spots for each day. It would   hopefully have allowed them to give you a spot. But I'm not a doctor. This is just my logic. Also, no one truly gets cancer or the potential for cancer until they have have been through it.

In the meantime try to find something that you like to do to help keep you distracted. Try to believe that everything is okay until proven otherwise. Even if you do have cancer, try to belive that it has been caught early.

The people on this site will support you. Feel free to vent or saying else that you want. We care and understand.

Keep us posted if you feel comfortable doing that.

Laughter is a lifestyle choice. www.laughterandcancer.com/blog

Re: Breast diagnostic clinic wouldn't give results over phone but booked appointment with surgeon

Posted by ashcon on Jul 19, 2020 10:16 am

I know you are going thru alot right now just trying to get a firm answer on what the heck is going on.  
Does the clinic who is calling you aware of this sequence of events and timing that you describe below? Perhaps if they did, it would help them understand why you are desperate for information and for next steps to be put in place. 

Also wondering: maybe the only reason you are being called in to see the surgeon is because they are aware you have no GP, and they are filling that gap? 
That is just a random guess, and I really hope that that is the case, and that you do not have cancer.

Please keep sharing your updates. We're all rooting for you! 
---- "Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced." ----

Re: Breast diagnostic clinic wouldn't give results over phone but booked appointment with surgeon

Posted by TorUkie on Jul 20, 2020 8:10 pm

Buddy65‍, does your hospital or hospital network have a digital (online) platform for results. You might want to look into it, as then you could possibly see your results online before doctor appointments. I am a very impatient person, so for me waiting is often the hardest part - but at PMH/UHN I get access to reports the moment they are available. 



Re: Breast diagnostic clinic wouldn't give results over phone but booked appointment with surgeon

Posted by Essjay on Jul 22, 2020 9:44 am

Buddy65‍ have you asked for a copy of your pathology report? What about calling the breast clinic and saying something like ‘your doctor didn’t give you a copy, could they put a copy aside for you to pick up’. Often, being assertive and requesting what you want (or need), gets a response without them questioning it or even delving into who your doc is and whether they have seen you yet. You are entitled to a copy of the report, even if you don’t have a doctor to receive them from..

hope you can get some reassurance very soon xx
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018

Re: Breast diagnostic clinic wouldn't give results over phone but booked appointment with surgeon

Posted by MCoaster on Jul 22, 2020 10:32 am

Buddy65‍    As if what you are facing is not bad enough the added stress of dealing with a system which allows us to fall through the cracks makes it so much worse.   You have received very good advice from others here who strongly relate with you because they have been there.  Essjay‍ makes a really good point about how you approach requesting reports.   I call it the “iron hand in the velvet glove” and it certainly has worked for me.   Know what is possible and go for it. They are after all your reports!   As with so many things in life “the carrot rather the stick” is often the most effective approach.  Dr Bonnie Henry has certainly used the approach with COVID-19 here in BC.

I do hope they come through very soon along with a treatment plan.

We are here.

Assertive but gentle hugs.