I'm an RT student, but I visit these boards often, since resp. doesn't seem to have an active board of their own. I have a situation right now, and I'm just trying to figure out if I might be over reacting to it.
I had a pap early last year, my first in three years, and it came back abnormal. I had a another mid-year, and it also was abnormal. Both times I was notified of the abnormal results by mail. My doctor told me both times that these abnormal cells usually resolve of their own. I had a third pap late last year, and never received notification by mail. Since she had told me that they usually resolve on their own, and since I only ever received mailed results when they were abnormal, I thought that I was in the clear. I also lost my insurance shortly after. Last week I went in for my annual physical and pap. Come to find out, the third pap last year showed that the cells had now progressed to mild dysplasia. So I've had these precancerous cells for a year and nobody told me. I was given a referral for a colposcopy eval, but they couldn't get me in for over a month. I realize that cervical cancer is usually a slow growing thing, but there are certainly exceptions to every case, and I'm scared of what might be going on inside my body right now, and I'm furious with my doctor for a) not notifying me of the results a year ago and b) not marking my referral as a priority to get me in for the eval sooner. Am I over reacting to this, or do I have a right to be ticked?
Oct 11, '05
The information might have been lost in the mail. I think the real burden was on you to follow up with your results, especially with two previous abnormal smears. If it were me I would have called and gotten the results myself when I did not hear anything in a reasonable amount of time.
Oct 11, '05
I would be absolutely furious, BUT unfortunately there is nothing you can do to change what happened now and being angry will only zap your energy and make the situation even worse. You need to concentrate on being positive in order to keep yourself in the best health possible. A very similar situation happened to my best friend--there was some kind of mistake and she wasn't notified of the dysplasia for a year and a half. She handled it fairly well, had the procedure to remove the cells and she is now perfectly fine and planning a pregnancy. I hope everything turns out well for you and I am so sorry this happened to you.
Oct 12, '05
The physician's office should have notified you by telephone if your third smear showed progression of your condition. Dropping a letter in the mail is not exactly responsible in my opinion. I would definitely be annoyed if I were you. Good luck with your treatment and I hope everything works out for you.
Oct 12, '05
No. Every patient should get results for every test whether verbal or in writing. They screwed up and that is all there is to it. I worked MD offices (OB/Gyn) for 12 years, and I can assure you that you have every right to be upset.
That said - the changes are slow and 1 month should not make a difference in the progression. However, if you are going to lose sleep and feel anxious then the very least the MD at the office that screwed up should do is call the Gyn personally and request an appointment for you sooner. I hope you will request this. Do it in a calm but firm manner and I am certain they will be happy to assist you since they really did screw up.
All the best to you, Kim.
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