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Waiting for a bone scan

User
Posted 09 Oct 2014 at 21:29

Hi again,

I wonder if someone can let me know if what we've been told today is 'as to be expected' or 'unacceptable'!

My husband had to phone up for his MRI appointment this Tues 7th Oct & was told the appointment would be on 17th Oct. He was told to make a bone scan appointment at the same time. He tried to do this & they couldn't tell him the date as they said it was already 'in the post'. We waited 2 days, thinking surely it would be posted 1st class and nothing arrived. My husband phoned up again to check what was going on and was told an appointment hadn't been made. He was told that an appointment couldn't be made at present as they were 'full up', and that they were now looking to get something booked towards the end of Oct. He was told that he would get a letter in the post.

We are both concerned about the 'wishy washy' nature of what we've been told, and don't feel that confident that anything will actually arrive in the post, especially as the first time we phoned we were told that it was already in the post!

Do you think we should chase this up again, or is the waiting time, which sounds like at least another 3 weeks going to be ok?

Any advice much apreciated.

Miss

User
Posted 10 Oct 2014 at 00:29

Hi Miss,

Waiting times for diagnosis and treatment vary from one area to another, often referred to as post code lottery, so one tends to make comparison with ones own area which may not be typical. The time frame may well be dictated by how busy they are. There are not spare scanners and staff to operate them on tap. Perhaps you could inquire whether the appointment times your husband has been given is in line with current waiting times which don't seem to be excessive. However, we have had members who have secured reduced waiting times by 'chasing'. You should have have been given accurate information and it does seem you were fobbed off with the 'in the post' story.

If MRI scans follow biopsies too soon, the damage caused can make the scan less clear so this should be taken into account. It is now thought that MRI before biopsy gives better results but this would be more expensive to do because not everybody who has a biopsy has an MRI scan and extra pressure would be put on scanner capacity if MRI was done first.

Barry
User
Posted 10 Oct 2014 at 00:31

Hi Miss,

Does seem a bit slow, though I can only judge by my own experience at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.

I had my biopsy on Monday (2nd June), results on Wednesday (11th June), cancer diagnosed unfortunately.  When I was given the results, I was told that I had been booked in for a bone scan on the Friday (13th June) and would have an MRI scan on the Monday (16th June).  The scan results were given to me at a meeting with my consultant on Wednesday (25th June) where I was given my full diagnosis.  The following day (26th) I started my hormone therapy and am due to start my Radiotherapy next Tuesday (14th October) after just over three months on the hormones (which is a fairly standard procedure). 

The Royal Berks does seem to have a fairly good reputation so I don't know how it compares with other hospitals around the country.

It doesn't make it easy when things seem to be moving slowly and you're anxiously waiting for results.  This is one of the worst times when you just want to know what the full diagnosis is. 

There are standards that hospitals are supposed to work to regarding the time they take from the biopsy stage to final diagnosis but I'm not sure how long that is.  I'm sure someone on this site would probably know or just look it up on the internet.  Might help in getting things moving.  Is it possible to get these scans done at another hospital if your local one is under pressure?  Might be worth asking.

Anyway, try to relax, I know it's difficult because you just want to get treatment underway. I know because I felt the same.  Truth is, that most PCa's are generally slow growing so an extra few days don't really make much difference.

Thinking of you both.

Steve

User
Posted 10 Oct 2014 at 09:11
When we did this we went to the scanning department with the document from the urologist we had just seen and booked both scans at the same time. This meant that they scheduled both scans on the same day but the bone scan requires an injection, then you go off and come back a few hours later. The results appointment was booked for two weeks after the scans and was made while we were there. I think this was a huge benefit for us, simply being there and talking to the admin people who got everything organised for us. I would hate to have to phone them. Is there any chance you could go to the department yourselves and speak directly to them?

We now realise that the urologist was already certain that the Cancer had metastasised so maybe this is why it all happened smoothly, I'm not sure. But it was good that it was, I doubt we could have coped with being messed around at that time.

I hope this gets sorted out for you, it's an awful period before you know the full diagnosis and even in our case it took from October till nearly the end of December to get all the results.

Best wishes for good results

Allison

User
Posted 10 Oct 2014 at 13:16

Miss

Keep chasing, My scans were all booked by the urology department.  I was diagnosed December 18th the MRI appointment arrived in a couple of days. The bone scan appointment arrived 4 hours after I should of been at the hospital, sent second class in the Christmas post. The registrar booked the CT scan in January, that was rejected but no one was told, I had the CT scan on the Friday 25th before my op April 28th.

The wait from December to April was planned, due to a new robot being installed.

So my advice keep chasing things do get lost.

 

Thanks Chris 

 

 

  

User
Posted 10 Oct 2014 at 14:00

When we have had anomalies like this or we have not been able to resolve an enquiry any other way, then I have rung the consultant's secretary, explained our dilemma and asked for advice from the consultant. Sometimes its works. Worth a try anyway.

Also advise the MRI/Ultrasound department that you are prepared to accept  cancellation

We can't control the winds - but we can adjust our sails
 
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