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Unread 08-10-2004, 12:51 AM
Hello from a new member

It definitely is harder to get sub-specialty care in Oz, no question, and it often means long drives -- and long waits . I found this listing of GYN-oncologists on the web: GYN-ONC in OZ. Perhaps your GP could contact one of them -- or maybe you could?

Your family history is certainly a risk factor, and so is the lupus; it means your immune system isn't the "average." Granted, these may only be "functional" cysts -- and the odds are that's what they'll find. However, ovarian surgery in someone who has had a hysterectomy isn't always straightforward, either, due to adhesions. Sometimes, in fact, these complex and hemorrhagic cysts are nothing more than complicated bundles of adhesions!

However, that's why it's at least worth trying to talk your doctor into doing the CA-125 and the doppler ultrasound. Functional cysts don't usually have a blood supply, even though they may have areas that have had some bleeding. Just that one test alone could possibly ease your mind. Again, however, it might mean a trek for you, since you live in the country.

Keep working with your doctor -- ask if there is a cancellation list or some such, or if he can intervene with the system for you. Are there private options? I know that there is also private insurance there; can it help move the process along any?

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Unread 08-10-2004, 01:19 AM
Hello from a new member

Hi Audrey
Unfortunately I have no medical insurance, and it's too late to get cover now because it would be a pre-existing condition. There is the option of going as a private patient, and paying the cost out of pocket. I mentioned this on my other thread, where I updated about the call back from my GP. He wants to leave it up to the GYN whether to do a CA-125. The ultrasound was a transvaginal. It did show that the cyst has a blood supply. I had no idea whether that was significant in any way. I have also had other problems, like increasing pain (it's been practically unbearable since the ultrasound) and change in bowel habits, and also severe pain when my bladder or bowel is full and when emptying either one my lower abdomen goes into spasms. OUCH. As I mentioned on the other thread, my daughter tells me that as far as she knows, the gyn I will be seeing is also an oncologist. He did her loop diathermy and she will be seeing him next week as well. This next week simply is not going to move quickly enough.
Unread 08-10-2004, 05:06 PM
Hello from a new member

I am confused. If you are in OZ, and you have government health care, why would you also need private insurance?

It sounds like you have been referred to a gynocologist who also does some cancer treatments. It would better to see a specialist who only treats gyn cancers as those doctors have the most experience in diagnosis and treatment. I realize that may not be possible for you. Would it be possible to pay to see a gyn/onc for a second opinion?

I am sorry that you have to wait, that is ALWAYS the worst part of this stinkin' disease.

Hugs and comfort,
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Unread 08-10-2004, 09:00 PM
Hello from a new member


Hi, and welcome! I have found this site to be a God-send!

I'm sorry you are going thru this! I hate the waiting. that's when my mind gets filled with all sorts of ideas! Bad waiting...bad!

I wish you luck, and success with your diagnosis and treatment. It stinks to have to worry about procuring good health care because of insurance red tape, doesnt' it!? Something just is not right with the system, that's for sure.
Unread 08-10-2004, 09:22 PM
Hi Denton

Hi Denton

The maze that is our national health system is confusing even to us, so I can only imagine how confusing it must be to an outsider. Over here everyone is guaranteed ALMOST free medical care. If you go to a public hospital as a public patient everything is totally free. The trouble is that you have no choice of doctor, and you end up on huge waiting lists. Under the national health system the government pays 85% of the schedule fee for a doctor's visit to GP or Specialist. The patient co-pays the other 15%, plus anything that the doctor charges over and above the schedule fee. Most charge anywhere from $20 to $100 (for a specialist) over and above the schedule.
There is the option of taking out private insurance. We as individuals can join a medical insurance fund which pays for the stay in a private hospital (which is not covered at all by the national health scheme), or in a private wing of a public hospital. It's a bit of a rip off IMO, because the patient ends up with out of pocket expenses as well. For instance as a public patient, the in hospital charges by all the specialists involved in caring for the patient, including charges over and above the schedule are covered by national health system (medicare). If a patient has private insurance, the hospital costs are covered 100%, you get your choice of doctor, you have practically no waiting lists, but you have to pay each and every doctor involved in caring for you and then claim back 85% of the schedule fee from your insurance fund. That can run up to hundreds, if not thousands, of $$$$. Medical insurance is expensive too. There are plans that cover Dental (much of which is not covered under national health), Optical, and extas like chiropractor etc.
The government wants as many people who can afford it to join insurance funds to take the pressure of the public hospital system. The waiting lists blow out further every year.
I will ask the gyn I see if he is a gyn/onc. I will also see if he can get me on a priority list to see a gyn/onc at one of the public hospitals if he isn't a gyn/onc. Even if on a priority list I doubt that I would be seen before December or into next year. For now I just want to know if there is anything to be concerned about. Then I will worry about what to do about it, and how it is best accomplished. If the gyn I am seeing next Wednesday is a gyn/onc it would be a big bonus. If not, then as a public patient I may not have the option of seeing a specialist, much less have a specialist perform the operation. This really does suck!!!
Thanks for the suggestions though because that will give me an idea of what to ask for. There is no harm in asking to see a gyn/onc, even if the answer ends up being no. At least I will have tried.:hair:
Unread 08-12-2004, 04:27 AM
Hello again

Hi everyone
I am still playing the waiting game. Audrey, I checked the link you gave me. The first is a private hospital, and the other two are majour public hospitals. After calling both of them, I was told I definitely need a referral to be seen by them. They want the regular GYN to run all the relevant tests, and then if there is a concern that it could be cancer I will be put on the waiting list. Depending on how urgent the GYN thinks it is, it can be anywhere from 3 - 6 months wait to get in with a specialty clinic as a public patient. So, one step at a time I guess. The pain is a little less today. I hope it decreases more over the next few days so the wait until next Wednesday will be more bearable. Hopefully the GYN will look at my unltasound and say it definitely still is a cyst and nothing to worry about. OK ... so maybe I'm kidding myself. Just trying to stay positive. Thanks for the hugs. They really help.

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