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Third Opinion ?? Third Opinion ??

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Unread 05-31-2004, 05:13 PM
Third Opinion ??

You are obviously not comfortable with the second opinion, so a third is definitley in order. And I would tell him everything you saw in your file and get some direct answers to those questions you have about that information.

Best of luck to you. Always listen to your gut feelings!

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Unread 05-31-2004, 06:07 PM
Third Opinion ??

Hi, thank you everyone for replying! I think I am going to sit down and make a list out of questions to ask. I was wondering whether or not I should bring up the letter I found in my file...I do have a copy of it, but I don't want the Dr. to think bad of me for snooping...LOL....I know that it is MY file, but for some reason they did not want me looking at it....nicely enough a girl in the office agreed to give me a copy of it....what do you guys think?
Unread 05-31-2004, 06:11 PM
Third Opinion ??

Of course you should mention it! And it IS your chart - all information you are entitled to have. Besides, if you DON'T ask specific questions regarding that letter, you will always wonder. Plus, sometimes we misinterpret or misunderstand what tht letter says, even though it seems to say it in plain english! What it means to us may not mean the same thing to them, you know?
Good luck!!

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Unread 05-31-2004, 07:48 PM
Third Opinion ??

You must mention it and bring a copy along.
Especially since its contents are the source of anxiety and concern. Don't worry about about being a "good" patient.
This is your life.

Unread 05-31-2004, 10:33 PM
Third Opinion ??


Given the difference in what you were told vs. what the letter says I think you are doing the right thing to get another opinion. It's better to be safe than sorry!

I wouldn't put a whole lot of faith in cancer marker numbers. Mine went down to normal following a TAH and 5 rounds of chemo. My last few CA-125s were in an good normal range. However I just had a CAT scan earlier this month that confirms that I've been developing new metastises. I'm probably battling more than one cancer because the CA-125 couldn't pick up the new metastises. Getting extra tests like a CAT scan, etc. can really complete the picture. I think it is unethical for a doctor to say one thing to a patient and cofide something else to another doctor. They really do us no service at all and it smacks to me of malpractice. I would trust no doctor that isn't completely up front with me.

I hope all goes well with your appointment at JH and there is nothing to worry about.

Unread 06-01-2004, 06:39 AM
Third Opinion ??

Hi Homerpoppy,

I live in Montreal, Canada and definitely don't know any doctors at John Hopkins. But I do know it is one of the greatest facilities for cancer. I, also, believe you should get more than one opinion especially since you found "that letter". I'm glad I read your post because I will now ask my onc for a copy of me surgery. I had TAH/BSO on Jan 14 for ovarian cancer. I had to ask many questions to my onc to find out any details of the surgery and I still don't know exactly what was found. He told me it was stage 2B that means the cancer had spread outside the ovaries in the pelvis region and that he performed the "usual" surgery for that cancer. Well, excuse me, I don't know what the usual is...I've never had cancer before! I've been having many lower back pains and some slight bleeding since the surgery (to this day) and he tells me it's from healing. I just received a package from the Canadian Ovarian Cancer Association and they state stage 2 is cancer that has spread to colon or rectum. Is this why I still have pains in my butt? (Sounds funny!) I'm having a PET scan tomorrow and will be seeing him on June 15 for results. I then will ask for a copy of the surgery to see exactly what was done. I hope all goes well for you, sorry I couldn't be much help to you, but you did raise a point as to the reason that we need to know what was done to us during surgery. I thank you for that!
Unread 06-01-2004, 07:16 AM
Third Opinion ??

Yes, it is so true....It makes me so mad that our own charts are off limits!! Sometimes it's like they have something to hide! It is MY BODY...and I feel that I have the right to know what is going on and what went on! I still don't know what exactly is in my whole Dr.s chart, but I did go to my hospital medical records dept. and ordered a copy of my surgical report, pathology report, and all tests done before, during, and after my surgery...I now have them on hand to refer to, and to take with me to Hopkins! As far as the third opinion goes, it's not that the second opinion dr. actually lied to me, but he sure left a whole lot out! He said , yes you have a chance of reoccurance, blah, blah, and of course there are probably still bad cells left in there, blah blah, but he NEVER said "virtually 100% chance of recurrance"/////You see, he was just trying to smooth things over, probably trying to make me feel better too, which is nice...BUT..I needed to know those details so that I can be on the lookout!
Unread 06-01-2004, 07:31 AM
Third Opinion ??

As a nurse and the wife of a doctor I can tell you two things:

A. You are entitled to any and all information in your medical record. period. All you have to do is ask.

B. Generally speaking they don't make your chart available for you to "peruse" because a lot of the info in there is easily misinterpreted by a layperson.

When I worked in NICU (neonatal ICU) we had a very strict rule about parents reading through their child's chart on their own (not allowed!)- there is SO much to be misinterpreted in there. However, we would be more than happy to sit down WITH the parents, look through the chart with them and explain anything they wanted to know about. This practice greatly reduces unnecessary worry and anxiety over test results, documentation, etc. that may be read incorrectly. This is someting I would think any physician would be willing to do with you, as long as you made an appointment specifically for that purpose. At a regular appointment where he needs to examine you and such, he/she most likely does not have the ability to sit down for an impromptu read through the chart with you, simply out of courtesy for the other patients he has waiting.

You are always your own best advocate!!

Unread 06-01-2004, 07:49 AM
Third Opinion ??

As the site below indicates, the federal patient privacy protections of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) became effective on April 14, 2003. HIPAA is a federal law which gives patients throughout the United States the right to see and obtain copies of medical records, as well as request correction of errors contained in those medical records.

Here's the link:

Unread 06-01-2004, 08:09 AM
Third Opinion ??

Before having my TAH/BSO, with lymph node disection I became a member here. Thanks to the dear ladies here, during my first visit with my gyn/onc, I was bold enough to tell him that after my surgery I wanted a copy of my surgical pathology report. Three days after my "DAY" he walked into my room w/ report in hand. He actually remembered.
Later, during my first visit w/ my rad/onc. , the doctor gave me a copy of the surgical report from my gyn/onc.
In other words, like the others have said.....these reports are yours. Don't hesitate to ask for copies. I now have pages 3-8 of my 9 pages surgical reports. I'm sure I could get pages 1, 2, and 9 if I asked.
As for the letter you saw, I would definitely ask. If not for any other reason than to give you understanding and peace.


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