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Lung Cancer Support
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New Protocol - Heads Up

Apparently there is a new protocol for folks receiving a CT Scan with contrast or an MRI. It is now suggested that anyone over the age of 60 have kidney function blood work done before the procedure. It will eventually spread out to others.

So, be aware if you get a call requesting you come early for blood work. It does NOT automatically mean something is wrong!!

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Wow! I did not realize this wasn’t standard of care. The hospital where I get mine done always draws blood first. I’ve had one instance where I was informed that my blood showed I was borderline, and the ct cancelled, due to being close to being dehydrated.

I’m grateful that they have decided to do this as it will prevent kidney damage.

Hopefully readers will remember this and insist that their blood be tested before.

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WOW! This is a new protocol at Roswell. They are supposed to be on top of everything. Oh, and they left a message on Friday about blood work but did not say why. Of course I was worried until Monday! Thursday I had the results and made it clear to the head of the dept that what happened was cruel - he didn't like that word, so I used it again. A whole weekend of panic is, in fact, very cruel when the reason is just kidney function!

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They have always done blood work before my CT scans. It doesn't have to be done the same day, but it can't be more than 7 days prior or they won't do the scan, now I know why. Thanks for the information.

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I, too have always had blood work prior to my c t scans. Thought that was standard procedure. I asked where I have my scans done, what happens if the test shows poor kidney function and the tech said they do the scan without contrast. I guess each medical group has its own guidelines.

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I answered above to Denzie - the more I think about what is going on at Roswell, the more I think it is time to find a new doc. The bad taste in my mouth about leaving a message for blood work on Friday and not being specific that it is only for kidney function, the more I don't want to be there. I was in a total panic all weekend and cannot imagine that others weren't in the same boat. The excuse that this was a new protocol that was announced hospital-wide by email on Christmas Eve doesn't cut it. This specific doc, and now the department have really lost my respect. The other docs that take care of me are great - but the lung docs just don't ... well, I dealt with one who sucked when Lyds was going through it, and now this ... not a happy camper

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I'm sorry you had this experience. Maybe one difference is that my scans are ordered by my oncologist. He is used to juggling chemicals and their possible side effects. If yours is ordered by a pulmonologist, he might approach things differently. The bottom line is you must feel comfortable and confident in your doctor's treatment of you.

Take care and may your scans give you good news. Jean

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Mine are also ordered by the oncologist. It is a new policy for all of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Institute for everyone over 60. I turned 60 in August. The Daignostic Radiology department is the one responsible for the new protocol.

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I’m surprised. Roswell has the NCCN designation on Comprehensive Cancer Care facility. Not an easy status to achieve. I would ask my oncologist about this directly. There may have been a reason such as comorbidities or the number of treatments you’ve had for other cancers. Through my support group I’ve met a woman who can’t have contrast due to allergic reactions.

Are there Patient Experiences Advisory Councils there? You would be a good resource for them. At my hospital they have these councils so they can find out where the warts are and correct them. They do implement many of the changes we suggest.

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I'm surprised too! Was told by the head of Radiation that Diagnostic Radiation - two separate departments - sent out a hospital-wide memo on Christmas Eve about the new protocol. Was also told by my oncologist's nurse practitioner that I'm not the only one who was left in a panic. Hey - at least the scan came back "stable." That's a plus after a weekend of panic!

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Congratulations on a stable scan. Now take a deep breath and relax for a little while.

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Thanks for the heads up on this. I have PET/CT rather than CT w/ contrast because of a contrast allergy so haven’t run into this. I’ll definitely ask before next MRI. Congratulations on having a good scan!

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Congrats on a clean scan.

As for Roswell, I agree, leaving you worried all weekend was just cruel.

I went there after my first cancer surgery for a second opinion on whether or not to get chemo. The doctor suggested chemo as a precaution, to boost my odds of staying cancer free. I did the chemo at their facility in Amherst (?). The nurses there were great, but CT scans and pre-scan blood work was done at Roswell. They would schedule everything for the same day (blood work, CT scan, Drs. visit) because I am an hour away. A few times they had to call me with the schedule for the next visit, and I was okay with that. Until the second time they forgot to call me, and sent the paperwork out so late that I received it the day before I was scheduled.

Roswell is a good hospital, but I felt more like a number than a patient (and the first time my CT scan came back clear, was the last time I saw my oncologist. After that it was a nurse practitioner, or a nurse).

I switched my care to a local cancer care center as soon as it opened up, and I never looked back. It's a small center attached to a small but growing hospital, I get great care, and my oncologist actually cares about his patients. When he had to tell me my cancer was back, he sat in front of me, held my hand, looked me straight in the eyes, and gave me the news.

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I like your oncologist. He sounds a lot like mine. Although being up to date and knowledgeable in his field is essential, making the patient feel like a person is equally important. Sounds like a keeper.

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He is up to date and knowledgeable, he also has empathy. I really lucked out.

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Katherine, I would be very interested in switching - could you please email me information? anrean@aol.com After reading the notes this morning that were written by the new lung oncologist, I am even more disappointed in Roswell's lung care! Although she claimed to have reviewed my records - which I knew was impossible because I span 4 huge folders and she had less than 15 minutes to do it, she got too much of the information just plain wrong. Bottom line, if you don't know then don't put it in the official record!! I was so floored by what she got wrong that I just plain sobbed. Roswell is focusing so much on research and the money that it brings in that their patient care is really slipping.

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Sent you an email. My email is kdkurch@gmail.com

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I’m already required to have this bloodwork every 12 weeks before my scans. Maybe because I’ve had in excess of 60 scans in the last 5 years?

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I had a CT/contrast done in Dec. 2018. It was pretty simple. They did my EGFR same day. When she was setting up my IV line she pulled a tube of blood. She was checking my glomerlar filtration ability. She did it all in about 5 minutes. She had a portable testing unit. So, no need to go in to lab. Many hospitals have these and they save time and resources on everyone's behalf. I think it is cool how my results go into my electronic medical record in a blink of the eye. So time saving! My EGFR was a tad high, but passable. The chemo I received in the past is notorious for kidney failure so I really am thankful for the EGFR testing. This test is routine in a comprehensive metabolic panel run by all labs. Glad they are screening for, would hate the alternative...kidneys not being capable of clearing the contrast. Ugh, another problem I do not need, nor want.

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