• Trouble getting an MRI

    Asked by Lindy on Monday, October 1, 2012

    Trouble getting an MRI

    Anyone have trouble getting an mri? I am two years out from diagnosis/surgery, never had an mri at any point along the way. My oncologist comfortingly informed me he would tell me when it was hopeless. He now thinks I may be flaring again...offers the usual scan but mum when I say I want an mri. Told his office I was tired of being poisoned, that if I survived cancer I would not survive the toxic scans and chemicals. They smile.

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      I'm not sure what the issue is. If you have had a mastectomy, you no longer have a breast to there is no breast to do an MRI on. Are you asking about having an MRI for something else? What is the usual scan you are getting? An MRI is most often used by a surgeon to get a 3 dimensional look at a turmor and the surrounding area to help with planning the surgery. Are you having additional surgery? What benefit do you expect to obtain from having an MRI?

      almost 5 years ago
    • lynn1950's Avatar
      lynn1950

      I read on your profile that you are stage III, ER/PR neg but HER2 positive. It sounds like a rough two years. Are you taking herceptin?

      I also read that you have "suspicious areas" (in the brain?). Is that why you want to have an MRI? It sounds like you have had terrible experience with your current oncologist and plastic surgeon and that you are very angry. You have a right to be treated with respect. Maybe you could switch to an oncologist you trust.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Lindy's Avatar
      Lindy

      Never having been too yippy skippy about doctors/medical "intervention" I am naturally questioning. Having not been told when the path report was completed that I was considered terminal means that in all that happened, perhaps in inappropriate sequence, I never made informed consent having not been informed! Given the time line, expected cause of death given by the oncologist, I had to confront him with what I figured out in having completely studied my path report, it is time for an MRI. I have lymph nodes popping up, according to him a year at best...I need to know from head to toe what is going on so I can make an informed decision. I pay for medicare, part D, and the supplemental I have. I believe in this cancer journey I am entitled to one MRI. My cancer, my journey, my need to know. Thank you for trying to clarify what for me isn't really questionable but in my opinion a laxity.

      almost 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      I think you might be confusing two different types of scans. An MRI is a 3 dimensional xray that is use to see additional details in a specific area such as the breasts, spine, brain, etc. There is a full body MRI but that still focuses primarily on the brain, heart, arteries, and colon, and is considered by most insurance companies, including medicare to be experimental and thus not covered. A PET scan is a full body scan that identifies "hot spots" from high metabolic activity anywhere in the body. Those hot spots are not necessarily cancers, but could be any type of inflammation or infection, such as arthritis, respiratory issues, immune system issues, etc.

      Without knowing what information you expect to gain from an MRI, I don't have any suggestions for you. You say you need to know from head to toe, what is going on so you can make an informed decision, but if an MRI does not provide new information required to make that decision and is not medically necessary for developing a treatment plan, then you aren't entitled to it and medicare won't pay for it. However, if you wish to pursue it, you could ask your oncologist to get a second opinion via a consult with another oncologist.

      almost 5 years ago
    • lynn1950's Avatar
      lynn1950

      I agree with NancyJac that a second opinion may be helpful to you.

      almost 5 years ago
    • carm's Avatar
      carm

      Hello, let me clarify one thing here in this discussion. I am an oncology nurse. A PET is the definitive scan to show a malignancy. The dye given is called fleurydeoxyglucose or FDG and it is a radio -isotopes with a few molecules of sugar attached. Cancer cells love sugar as do other cells but they divide at a greater rate or rapidly proliferate. They attract those sugar molecules to the tumor and the radio -isotopes then coats the tumor. The rate at which the tumor takes up the sugar is called the standardized uptake value or SUV. The faster the uptake, the higher the value. Values range from 1 to 15. A normal cell division is a 1. Anything above a 2.5 is considered a malignancy. A PET might light up an inflammation but the SUV would not be in a malignant range.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Lindy's Avatar
      Lindy

      Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I am told I will die from brain metastases, I have never even had a brain scan, the CT is more radiation toxic although less so at my age than an infant or young person. I was just tired of the serial poisoning I am tolerating while trying to recover my immune system. Got my port flushed, related to the nurse new symptoms, suggested I needed to see onc sooner than scheduled at end of year. Suggested I get a scan prior to visit. I am still waiting for the call to schedule another CT scan, then I call back and set up new appointment with onc. I have adhd so when I see onc I do not always get info I was desiring. I have actually seen him after a scan and he has not even mentioned it! I know, notes, great case of adhd, I forget to refer to notes. And, onc likes me, thinks I am tough and practical. I want to be a diva patient just once.

      almost 5 years ago

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