Thursday, September 5, 2013

Riddle Me This

Both the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the National Institutes of Health say that a core needle biopsy should be performed by an experienced orthopaedic oncologist, yet the oncologists around here refuse to see me unless I have a "confirmed diagnosis."  Problem is, the only way to have a "confirmed diagnosis" is to undergo a core needle biopsy.  Which needs to be performed by one of those fancy Virginia oncologists who won't see me.

I could have someone else do it, but a biopsy performed by someone who isn't trained in handling cancers?  Could contaminate surrounding tissues and increase both morbidity and mortality. According to the experts, that is.

So tell me--what am I supposed to do here?

I feel completely helpless.  I guess I sit and wait 4+ weeks to see an orthopaedic surgeon and hope he'll order the MRI and then, if necessary, refer me to a good orthopaedic oncologist who will do the biopsy.

And is covered by our plan.

And will agree to see me.

See how those options narrow?

And before you say, "Don't go for the worst diagnosis possible" or "don't self diagnose," I'm not--I'm looking for the tests that will tell me what this is.  The term "soft tissue sarcoma" as a possibility to be ruled out came out of my PCP's mouth, not mine.

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