What to expect with early tests - The Roy Castle Lu...

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

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What to expect with early tests

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My mum has been referred to the hospital for a chest x ray, ecg and bloods this week. It's because she fainted last week and took a while to come round properly. She has had a cough for over 6 months , has smoked for 60 years ( mostly untipped ) , is weary and has a sore throat. She had been getting antibiotics for a " chest infection " from the GP over the telephone for the past month , but had no temperature and the antibiotics had had no good effect. She had also had an upset tummy , but blamed that on the antibiotics. I took her to the Gp after the faint ( she has never let me go in with her before ) because I think she was scared. The Gp said " Now I'm going to insist you go for a chest x ray this time" , so I feel he has been suggesting it for a while.

What should we expect on Friday ? Will we get any results ? And what do the professionals think we are looking at ( I think I know , but am I being pessimistic ?) . I want to be prepared so I can offer as much support as possible .

6 Replies

Just for extra info, the faint was the first she has ever had . She has always been a vibrant woman , but is low just now. I don't think she has lost any weight and her cough is productive and troublesome , but she has had a dry cough since probably last Summer that I can remember.

So sorry to hear your Mum has been feeling poorly. I know it’s hard but please try not to worry. Your GP is sending your Mum for a chest Xray to find out what is causing these symptoms, which could be for many reasons.

The test will normally be carried out in a radiology department. Your Mum will be asked to undress and wear a hospital gown. She will stand in front of the machine and will be asked to hold her breath while they take the Xray. It’s not painful but sometimes the plates on the machine can be a bit cold.

Your Mum will get the results from her GP the following week. If the chest x-ray has shown anything unusual she will then receive a referral to a chest physician who will perform other tests to find out what is wrong. You can find out more about what may involve by visiting this page of our website: roycastle.org/lungcancertests I hope this helps & good luck for Friday

Hi there,

you won't get the results for a least a week after the xray as it has to be reported on by a radiologist, the radiographer who takes it isn't qualified or allowed to tell you if there is anything on it. The ecg will be looking at the heart as sometimes a 'faint' can be caused by a heart arrythia. These are all basic tests but are a starting point to find a diagnosis.

The waiting and the not knowing and fearing the worst is the worst thing but non of us could tell you what we may think is wrong as the symptons you describe could be due to numerous causes. Making a diagnosis is often a case of ruling out the common causes for certain symptoms and working from there.

Just remember though, most of us here have been through something like this and will be here for you to talk to whenever you need to. Fearing the worst is

something most of us do. Please let us know how you get on.

take care

Lyn x

Does the fact that the GP has referred her to a consultant at the hospital make a difference ? She got a letter to say she will be seeing Dr P. or one of his team ( I'm guessing it will be one of his team ) . But do you think that means the x ray and ecg will be reported on straight away ? I realise the bloods could take longer. The GP indicated that it would speed things up .

I realise that I'm hoping that someone will give me a diagnosis here and now and that isn't going to happen . However , I am grateful that Emma and Lynba replied. It helps to know that someone who may have been on this road is there . Friends and family all have their own personal feelings about my mum that make it difficult to be objective . Thanks

When I went for my xray, I was told not to get dressed until they had verified that the xray was taken. When the guy who had taken the xray came back to me he asked if I was going on holiday. It so happens that I was going on holday for a week the very next day. He then told me that I must go and see my doctor on the day I got back. When I asked if they had found something he wouldnt tell me - just said that he only took the xrays but I knew something was wrong.

As I was driving home I got a call from my Doctors surgery saying that they needed to see me that afternoon.

It seemed a mass on my lung had shown on the xray. She gave me antibiotics in case it was an infection but said that they didnt think it was.

She made me an appointment for CT Scan the following week.

I was quite surprised at the speed everything happened.

I wasnt expecting the results of the xray until I was back from holiday

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