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joelars (@joelars)

CT lung cancer screening

Lung Cancer | Last Active: Jul 22, 2019 | Replies (62)

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Hi. my name is larry joel is my middle name.
Thanks for the empathy.
I conclude that many doctors don't know how common lung cancer is in former smokers and also the "business of medicine" subsumes much of their time.
In defense of my primary (I like him) he didn't remember why I was there because the imaging company didn't send him the new x-ray. His procedure is common practice: when he receives a new test (often they're blood tests) he reads the reports and only when they contain abnormalities he calls me in. But this time (the only time) I scheduled the appointment to take place after the results were in regardless of the results. The "lucky" part is if I didn't, since I wouldn't have gotten "the call" I would have concluded the test was negative, when it's maybe positive, and that positive test would have sat in the imaging office indefinitely. Worse, as I developed symptoms I would have ignored them reassuring myself I recently tested "clean." and it is "only" my COPD.

I just read (on the net) 60% of new lung cancer diagnosis" come from ex-smokers. Of those 60% about 30% are people (in my group) who quit between 10-20 years. Moreover, my group's chances of lung cancer is still 7 times higher than a never smoker. Even 30 years after quitting my odds are 3x higher(that's as low as it gets).
I'm not even considering not getting cancer as realistic. I (have to) put my hope in early detection. My primary can't help much there. I would need to see an oncologist to arrange yearly scans? They would take it seriously?

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Replies to "@merpreb Hi. my name is larry joel is my middle name. Thanks for the empathy. I..."

Larry, I would suggest scans every 6 mos. I am a breast cancer survivor. Mine was found because of scans every 6 mos. I had one nodule and a wedge resection. 6 mos. later, 2 more nodules were visible but too small to biopsy. I am now getting a scan every 3 mos. waiting for them to be large enough to biopsy. My next scans are next week. I too am a former smoker but only quit 8 yrs ago. Before I can have treatment, they need to determine if it is lung cancer or breast cancer since I have had both.

@merpreb as a follow-up, I don't want to appear self-righteous or hypocritical when criticizing medical providers. I'm a lawyer. None of us, me included, can extricate ourselves from conflicts of interests inherent in professional relationships. In this case, that doesn't excuse the imaging company. They hurt their self-interest by not faxing the report and gained nothing.
But doctor's are used to not having to memorize the details of a patient's history and they rely on the specialists who provide them the reports they interpret for us. Without that report my doc wouldn't know that I had the x-ray.

Although, wouldn't it be nice if in addition to the numerous computer generated messages reminding you of your appointment they took a moment to think about why you are coming, and not just worry about a no-show, missed fee?

@joelars– Hi Larry, it's finally nice to meet you! 🙂 I understand about liking your doctor and you have a valid point about his routine. I just got so mad.. Anyway it looks like you wont stay away form all of the statistics about lung cancer. Not everyone who has smoked will get lung cancer. This from the National Cancer Institute: Lung, larynx (voice box), mouth, esophagus, throat, bladder, kidney, liver, stomach, pancreas, colon and rectum, and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.
If you are a former smoker you will definitely have emphysema or COPD or COPD and emphysema, which I have.
I would suggest getting a pulmonologist and at least have breathing tests and if you don't already a rescue inhaler if you should need one. Can you get a referral?

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