I open this thread here as I don't think it would be appropriate to continue such a discussion on Bill Forum's thread which is a memorial to our dearest Vicky…no longer of this world.
And why do I start this thread?
Because I received an email which is very poignant as to a timely diagnosis that may well have saved our wonderful Vicky's life…and also may serve as a 'heads up' to many of us…possibly saving a life in times to come, meaning we must take personal responsibility for our medical care management, and be more proactive in 'demanding' certain diagnostic tests from our providers when assailed by concerns.
On his forum Bill wrote
Vicki had a "bad stomach" for years. She in fact successfully passed her sandan test at Winterfest (2 years ago) while suffering from this "stomach ailment." She had seen health care practitioners about it for years, but nobody had done the right test. Finally she had an MRI (the only imaging technique capable of diagnosing her) and it revealed advanced pancreatic cancer. By the time it was discovered, it was too far advanced to be surgically removed.
This really continues to bother me when I think Vicky could have been spared a horrible death had her Health care providers used foreseeability more in tune with a medical standard of care_ given her 'bad stomach' complaints and pains over the years.
Bill indicated the prevalent view of doctors and Health care insurance companies
How do you know the difference between indigestion and pancreatic cancer in a stoic person? It's not like they didn't try... But if you had to do an MRI on every person walking into a doctor's office who had stomach pain, our health care system would quickly go bankrupt.
True enough…but Vicky's stomach pains were of years' duration…
In my work as a professional claims rep/special investigator/general adjuster_ I have handled quite a few medical malpractice law suits...and what I have seen in doctors and health carriers 'holding hands' in horrible medical decisions was enough to make you want to puke.
A decent doctor would have ordered such tests that could probably have saved her life, after long term non stop pain complaints involving the stomach.
It makes me furious.
I recall once many years back suffering from 'indigestion' pain…my doctor quickly ordered a Cat scan of my stomach which proved negative….a problem I took care of with prilosec.
Now as to Vicky...
Would a C-scan have 'caught' pancreatic carcinoma?
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency ... 003789.htm
Would an MRI done the same? Of course.
In Vicky's case…her doctor[s] had a patient with continuing complaints of stomach pains…yet they did not have the good sense of ordering such tests, not so terribly expensive, that would have saved her life by diagnosing the disease early on.
And why weren't her doctors aware of possible pancreatic cancer symptoms as follows:
WEB MDPancreatic Cancer: Gastrointestinal Symptoms
Because pancreatic cancer grows around important areas of the digestive system, gastrointestinal symptoms often predominate:
Abdominal pain. More than 80% of people with pancreatic cancer eventually experience some abdominal pain as the tumor grows. Pancreatic cancer can cause a dull ache in the upper belly and back pain.
The pain may come and go.
Bloating. Some people with pancreatic cancer have a sense of early fullness with meals (satiety) or an uncomfortable swelling in the abdomen.
Fat in the stool (steatorrhea). As pancreatic cancer reduces the pancreas' ability to secrete fat-digesting enzymes, more fat ends up in the stool. These fatty stools can be strange-smelling, and float more than normal.
If the duct draining bile into the intestine is blocked by pancreatic cancer, the stools may lose their brown color and become pale or clay-colored. Urine may become darker.
I don't know what exact symptoms Vicky had…but any reasonably prudent primary care physician should have exercised more diligence in her given situation.
Keep in mind what Bill wrote….i.e., the right tests were not done.