I wrote about a suspicious spot found during my regular cancer scan in this post.
I’m happy to report I had it thoroughly investigated and it’s not a cancer recurrence.
Chain of events
- Went for a PET CT scan at SGH on 15 June. A PET CT scan is where they inject you with a radioactive isotope and lie down in a machine while it scans your entire body. Whole process took about a couple of hours and went pretty smoothly.
- Got results back and saw doctors at the National Cancer Centre (NCC) on 18 Jun. They said there was a suspicious spot on my prostrate and they would discuss it further at their tumour board next week.
- NCC doctors called me back on 25 Jun. They want to do an MRI scan. This provides a sharper picture of the spot on my prostrate. They thought the chance of tumour was 50%. A date for the MRI was set around three weeks later on 14 July. This was pretty fast for public hospital standards.
- I decided I wanted a second opinion. Approach my ex-surgeon on 29 Jun, who is now in private practice. He consulted with a radiologist and they decided a biopsy would be the safest and most decisive. A biopsy is where they extract tissue from the suspicious site and test it for malignancies or abnormalities. A date was set for the operation to be done the next day.
- Went for the biopsy where a specialist extracted tissue from the prostrate using the aid of an imaging machine. Surprisingly painless and I didn’t know when he started and finished. Went home on the same day.
- Results were back and saw doctor on the following day on 2 Jul. No malignancies were found. It was something called prostrate atrophy, which was damage from the radiotherapy I went through. It shouldn’t get worse.
Private Insurance for the Win
All the above would be covered by my private insurance. I’m really glad that I got that.
If I had went through the public hospital route, it would have been much longer and more expensive. The MRI scan NCC wanted me to do wouldn’t have been covered because it is done on an outpatient basis. It would likely have been inconclusive as well, and I would have to go for a biopsy anyway. The entire process would have taken at least a couple of months. It is really stressful to wait that long.
With private insurance, I settled all my doubts in three days.
Most people don’t understand how big the difference is between public and private hospitals are. I have been through both systems, with long hospital stays and treatments at a few different places. I’ll do a detailed post on my experiences and why I think most people should opt for private insurance in another post.
In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my new lease on life. At least for the next 6 months, when I get another scan.