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For The Medically Inclined Amongst Us


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#1 sleepless sleeper

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 07:35 PM

I'm a wreck, and I can't wait much longer. I had tests done last Monday, and the radiology dept is dragging their heels. The haven't looked at my tests yet, and the internal doctor asked them to call as soon as they read the info, but they havent' done it. He said that he didn't want to wait for a written report. Doesn't it seem like they would maybe go out of their way to read the reports and call the doctor considering he said he wanted it asap?

For those of you that know more about cancer that metastasizes than is listed in a simple definition, could you please help me understand occult cancer? I know that it is submicroscopic and it does not pick up in a lot of tests, and that primary tumors aren't usually found. What I can't find on the i-net is reassuring info. Can you have occult cancer (I assume this is related to the melanoma) and have it be in early stages?

It's not even guaranteed that I'll find out this coming Monday, or tues, or who knows when. I keep thinking about my kids and I'm having a difficult time staying positive. I am not a member on any other forums, and I really am just too exhausted to get something new started. If any of you know, please pass on the info! I'd really appreciate it.

#2 chimbakka

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 10:33 AM

QUOTE (sleepless sleeper @ Feb 28 2009, 05:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm a wreck, and I can't wait much longer. I had tests done last Monday, and the radiology dept is dragging their heels. The haven't looked at my tests yet, and the internal doctor asked them to call as soon as they read the info, but they havent' done it. He said that he didn't want to wait for a written report. Doesn't it seem like they would maybe go out of their way to read the reports and call the doctor considering he said he wanted it asap?

For those of you that know more about cancer that metastasizes than is listed in a simple definition, could you please help me understand occult cancer? I know that it is submicroscopic and it does not pick up in a lot of tests, and that primary tumors aren't usually found. What I can't find on the i-net is reassuring info. Can you have occult cancer (I assume this is related to the melanoma) and have it be in early stages?

It's not even guaranteed that I'll find out this coming Monday, or tues, or who knows when. I keep thinking about my kids and I'm having a difficult time staying positive. I am not a member on any other forums, and I really am just too exhausted to get something new started. If any of you know, please pass on the info! I'd really appreciate it.


if they say "occult cancer" it means that there is cancer found somewhere but it isn't beleived to be the primary site, but to be cancer that has metastized from elsewhere. if the "elsewhere" is not known, then they call it "occult cancer". it may be something very small they can't pick up on, and have to search to find it. sometimes the secondary site is found before the first. they'll test to see what it is, and see if it's from the melanoma, or a different type of cancer. you can have different kinds in your body but htey are unrelated. actually, it is BETTER if they are unrelated, medically, because then it's a "coincidence" that you have both, and not one that is metastisizing over your body. what tests did you ahve done (CT?) and what was your doctor "thinking" was going on before sending you? what sypmtoms came up, etc. what they are looking for is either another "secondary" site, or the primary site, so that they can eliminate all of it and not have it keep poping up.

#3 sleepless sleeper

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 08:20 PM

Chimbakka, girl, you ROCK

I was getting completely freaked because we had not heard from the radiology dept. It was an EKG to rule out SBE, which is treatable. The day after I posted this, the report came back negative, and I freaked even more. I guess there are plenty of reasons to have an ongoing temperature, but so many tests had been run that came back negative for everything. The internal med doctor is really good and well respected by other doctors. He wanted to check for SBE before sending me to someone else, but he didn't think that would be the case. At the beginning of my meeting with him, he said that he didn't think it was the melanoma, but by the end of my appointment he seemed concerned about it and that's when he brought up occult cancer.

I have not been diagnosed with it. I'm just wiggin', though, because he asked this other doctor to double book his schedule to fit me in (this guy comes to this part of the state once a month and his next day here was full). His office called today to make another appt for me with him the week after I see this other specialist. It is so gosh darn complex. BUT - I think things will be alright. There is a test that gives an absolute determination as to whether or not a person has occult cancer, which takes four weeks to process, but the doctor decided not to run it. I've decided that it must be something else. Naive, but it helps alleviate negative thoughts.

You have always been so attentive, thorough, and thoughtful with your posts. I hope that you will always stay in nursing because it seems to be your true calling.