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Diagnosed Pancreatic Mass

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:21 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2
Question Diagnosed Pancreatic Mass

Hello: After numerous tests, 3 Usx, 1 MRI, 2 CAT, 5 lab and ultrasonic endoscopy. The physicians determined that I have pancreatic cancer. I refused a biopsy because of possibility of seeding. Besides my back hurting, I am a candidate for surgery. They think it is still contained and operable.
WELL, you think that is good news.......UNTIL.......I started calling the cancer centers and unless you have GOOD insurance they WONT TAKE you.!!!
I have AARP Medicare complete plan, No body wants this or MEDICARE. I started receiving Medicare because I was disabled from an accident. This year they convinced me to go with the comprehensive plan, like AARP, Secure Horizons, Humana, they are all taking over the standard Medicare Plan.
since I changed, the AARP plan requires Pre-Auths for everything, I mean everything, which might take a long time. My CAT scan approval took forever.
I am so upset, I have to vent, sorry guys. What is wrong with our country. Unless you have Gazillion dollars, they throw you to the curb. The only surgeon I found here that will take my insurance told me that he has performed only five of these pancreactomies in one year. That REALLY makes me nervous. If I only did something five times in one year, I dont think I would be very good at it. Please, someone help. I need surgery right away, the mass is growing everyday. I need to go to a center in the mainland. I am in Hawaii and willing to travel.

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Old 02-02-2013, 01:58 PM   #2
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Re: Diagnosed Pancreatic Mass

I am very sorry you are facing such serious health problems with impossible insurance issues on top of it. I am also feeling constantly victimized by our health insurance industry. It is bad enough to be battling illnesses and not feeling well, without having to spend time and energy fighting for what you deserve. I am wondering if the situation with accepting Medicare would be any different on the mainland. At least there would be more Drs to chose from. Where is your family and support system? That is so important not to go thru something like this alone. Also, I doubt many surgeons do much more than 5-6 pancreatectomies in a year. As long as they are good surgeons, I would feel ok about that, especially if travelling to the mainland is a hardship for you in any way. Travelling and starting over with new Drs may delay things even more, and you are right, the sooner the better for the surgery. I wish there were easy answers, and I hope whatever you decide turns out to be curative. At least you know there are people here who understand, empathize, and you are not alone.

Old 03-28-2013, 06:16 PM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Somerset PA United States
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Re: Diagnosed Pancreatic Mass

PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL!! Before having any surgery have a CT with contrast and 3D imaging if at all possible. Make sure that you are indeed operable and that there is no venous involvement! My husband was determined to be "borderline" resectable and underwent tons of radiation and chemo prior to the surgery, they did explorartory surgery to deterine if the tumor encased the veins and arteries, and all this and that... long story short, the radiation caused too much scar tissue and the tumor does involve the blood vessels so they cut him wide open across his abdomin, spent more than 6 hours diggin around in there, took his appendix and gall bladder and stiched him shut and sent him home! He went to the hospital with cancer and came home with pneumonia, infection and nerve damage!! This all took place from July 2012 til Dec. 2012 and now in March 2013 they are telling him he probably has less than 6 months to live! PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL!! Good luck and God bless!

Old 04-06-2013, 05:14 AM   #4
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Re: Diagnosed Pancreatic Mass

Sorry for what you are going thru. I went thru pancreatic surgery in 2007 for a mass that was found on the tail of the pancreas. I had various symptoms such as bloating pretty much all day long, abdominal pain at times, diarrehea and nauseous at times too. Can't recall the other symptoms. Went thru a CT scan with contrast.

The initial surgeon that I saw didn't want to touch me because I had other health issues that I have. But my gastroenterologist pushed to have the surgery done and sent me to a doctor at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania where it was eventually done. The doctor that I saw was a Dr. Jeff Drebin. I don't know and won't speak for him as to what insurance he will or won't accept. But as far as qualifications I was impressed. Both educationally and experience. University of Penn is a top hospital and is recognized in a number of specialties. Not sure you want to come this far but it may be worth checking out.

good luck and keep us posted.

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