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Oncology Appt
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Louise_WebMD_Staff posted:
I took mama for her first appointment with the oncologist yesterday. She saw him while she was in the hospital but not in the office. I, of course, forgot to bring my print out of her current meds and health history. I knew he had some records so wasn't worried. Mama picked up the wrong referral slip on the way out the door. So, we had to wait a good long while to see him...he was running a little late and the office staff was digging for a referral number. In addition, we were trying to fill out an extensive health history form from memory. (not recommended. I swear I am going to put that thing in triplicate in the car, in her go out bag, in everything. ) It had changed a little bit and I had yet to run off the new copy and make the changes.

My mother had ovarian cancer 10 years ago. They discovered while doing some bowel surgery. She did chemo and has been cancer free since, so this is basically just a follow up sort of visit. She also has a port in her arm that needs periodic flushing.

Doctor asked her about the BRCA test which she hasn't done (that she remembers) and he seemed to encourage it quite a bit...as did other staff. She asked me if I knew about it. Uh yes, mom, I do. So, of course, she seems like she wants to get it. Just another blood test. No big deal.

But it is. Do I really want to know? My sisters have both had hysterectomies and their ovaries removed. They both are pretty obsessive about preventative medical care.

So, it is just me in this generation. Do I want to have to face the burden of talking this out with my girls or get tested if Mama tests positive? What about my sister's daughter? And finally, do I want her tested if her test comes back positive and those tests are used against me or the girls when it comes to medical insurance in the future?

Is the reasoning for preventative removal there? I am done having children. I don't REALLY need ovaries or breasts...but I also don't want unnecessary surgery. Or is it unnecessary? Will it be the better choice in the long run?
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GAP1954 responded:
Have you considered using one of the new medical vaults on line? Microsoft has one and there are a few others. This way you can record, scan and retrieve your records from any computer with an Internet connection. They are well secured and encrypted so privacy should not be a problem.

On your side of this stuff - if you have had any discussion with your own doctor about the situation, it will have been recorded in your medical history already so pursuing more advice and or treatment or tests will not make it any harder on your insurance situation. If the tests show treatment is needed and you do not follows through - that would be a problem for any insurance plan. If you end up with a clean check up or go through treatment and finish it successfully, that would make it easier for insurance coverage. If you try to skirt the issue and hope the insurance companies don't find out - that is a dangerous position. If something happens later and they find out, they can go back and deny past claims and demand their money back. The best thing is to work pro actively on any health situation and keep a detailed history of what goes on with treatment and results etc. If this is a truly genetic condition and not just a "possibly" one - I would encourage you to have your family follow through on being pro-active.

Best to everyone.
 
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Louise_WebMD_Staff responded:
I actually use the one here at WebMD-the WebMD health manager. Unfortunately the doctor's office had no Internet Access via my phone...and there were no computers evident behind the desk. (yes, I know, odd)

My mother's hx of ovarian cancer is on my records. My own check ups have been fine and the insurance thing is not currently an issue. I just have nightmares about my girls going to get insurance for the first time as adults and getting denied because their grandmother had a history of ovarian cancer.

The BRCA test doesn't actually show that treatment is needed...it just shows a that you are genetically prone to an illness.
 
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GAP1954 responded:
Currently I believe it is still illegal for health insurers to factor in genetic predisposition as a factor in determining insurability. Not so with life and disability companies - which is another reason people should get long term care insurance at earlier than normally recommended ages. You might look into catastrophic health coverage for your girls - something like a critical illness type of plan just to lock in the coverage for them. How old are you kids?
 
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Louise_WebMD_Staff responded:
My girls are still young-11, 14.


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