MRI Confusion

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MRI Confusion

by LyssaW on Mon Feb 01, 2016 06:48 AM

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Hello

I'm new to this board, but when I found cancercompass I thought that it would be a good place to ask my questions. I'm a 21 year old female who recently had an MRI of my brain. My doctor ordered it because of some symptoms that have lasted for nearly a year and are, so far unsolvable. The MRI was just used as a precaution, just to rule out any thoughts that it could possibly be something to do with my brain. My MRI was in early January and lasted for only 30-45 minutes and included a contrast. I was told that I would get the results from the radiologist in a few days, but I was impatient and viewed the MRI CD I was given as soon as I got home. I'm no radiologist, but after viewing all the scans and seeing an odd spot that reoccurred through 5-6 of the different scans/angles of my head I began to worry.I'm not very good at describing things like this, but I'll do my best. The spot is at the back of my brain on the right side and is about the size of a quarter. It's almost a circle and is lighter in color with some darker swirls. After comparing it to some images of brain cancer online and seeing some similarities I began to feel quite scared.

I showed the scans to my mother who has worked in a hospital for many years and to my mother-in-law whose own son survived brain cancer and they both were alarmed at the images.We waited patiently for the results and expected the written report to answer some of our questions, but unfortunately it just made more. The radiologist claimed in his report that I only had opacification of my maxillary and ethmoid sinus and that otherwise it was a normal MRI of the head. He didn't mention the very obvious spot at the back of my head at all! How could he miss it? I ended up e-mailing my doctor who responded the same exact thing I had gotten from the radiologist with the added note that she didn't even look at the images because she can't read them. She completely dismissed my concerns on the subject. I am trying to get a second opinion from the radiologists at my hospital, but they claim they don't read an MRI from aother source because they already come with a report. I am very scared and frustrated, as is the rest of my family.  I am wondering if this spot sounds like it could be something serious, or if maybe this sort of situation has happened to anyone before? I really have no idea what to do at this point and I am looking for some honest advice or reassurance. I would really appreciate any help you guys could offer.

RE: MRI Confusion

by PunkyD on Mon Feb 01, 2016 09:59 AM

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Dear Lyssa,

I am not a professional, nor do I have experience in this sort of thing, but you're at the right place to ask questions and get support, so I just thought I would share my thoughts with you. Indeed your situation sounds extremely frustrating. Regarding the spot that you saw on the CD.......I have no idea what that could be, it could be nothing, but If I were you, I definitely wouldn't be satisfied until I got an answer to my questions.  First of all, the radiologist claimed in his report that you only had opacification of my maxillary and ethmoid sinus. Do you know what that means??? Did he explain it to you?  Does that cause your symptoms?  Is there a treatment? And about the spot......I'm sure he didn't miss it.  He just didn't say anything to you about it.  It may very well be nothing, but he (the radiologist or your doctor) should definitely tell you what it is and stop ignoring your question. DO NOT LET ANYONE DISMISS YOUR CONCERNS.  A second opinion is always good, especially if you think your first opinion is not taking you seriously, or not cooperating with you.  That excuse that they don't read an MRI from aother source because they already come with a report is lame!  Did you have to pay for the MRI or did your insurance pay for it?  Can you do it again at the other hospital?  Do you or your parents have any doctor friends/connections?  That always helps....

In parallel to getting a second opinion, even if you have to do the MRI again, I would insist on getting a clearer explanation from your radiologist and doctor who did the first MRI. 

Try not to get yourself all worked up.  Wishing you good health and good results.

Punky

RE: MRI Confusion

by PunkyD on Mon Feb 01, 2016 01:49 PM

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Lyssa,

I'd like to correct something from my previous post.  DO NOT do another MRI.  You shouldn't have to and it's not good for you to do one unless necessary.  Keep looking until you find a doctor/radiologist that is willing to look at your CD from the MRI that you've already done.  I'm sure you will find one.

Punky

RE: MRI Confusion

by Dodgerblue on Mon Feb 01, 2016 02:41 PM

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I would agree with Punky that I would push to get 2nd reading on films already taken.  I would also push to find out what is causing your sypmtoms you mentioned.  I had numbness and tingling in my left for 6-8 months before I was dx.  A worker's comp doc.  tried everything he could to figure out what was causing it.  In the end I was discharged with strained brachial nerve injury that never healed.  Turned out it was a brain tumor that caused it and they found it by luck after I had a concussion and took CT scan.  I also wouldn't assume you have a brain tumor and I hope you don't.  Let us know how it goes.

Dodger

RE: MRI Confusion

by LyssaW on Mon Feb 01, 2016 06:58 PM

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Punky D

Thanks for responding to my post so quickly!

I never had the chance to even speak to the radiologist that read my report, I was only given the written report from the clinic. The report did not explain what the opacification of the maxillary and ethmoid sinus was, it just stated that I had it. In my doctors email she claimed that it is sinusitis, but really gave no  more information that that. From what I've read online it only means that my sinuses are blocked by either inflammation or mucus. I was given an antibiotic and a steroid nasal spray to take for a month to see if that helps. This could possibly be the cause of one of my symptoms, but as I haven't even had the chance to speak to my doctor I'm not sure.

I go to a military hospital, so unfortunately even though it has its own radiology department with MRI machines they are only used for active duty. Even though my insurance covered the MRI completely I don't plan on getting a second one unless my doctor believes that I truly need one, but I will definitely keep pushing for a second opinion! If my hospital refuses to give my MRI a second look than my family has already decided we will pay to have them read somewhere else. I am really trying hard not to worry, but its been almost three weeks with no helpful news from my doctor! At this point I think I am more frustrated than anything...

Thank you!

RE: MRI Confusion

by LyssaW on Mon Feb 01, 2016 07:17 PM

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Dodgerblue 

For probably the past 5+ months I have been pushing to find out what is causing my symptoms as they are not normal for someone my age. I've had all the tests under the sun done, but unfortunately neither of the three doctors I've seen have been able to find out what is causing them. It was just when I mentioned to my doctor that my dizziness had worsened considerably to the point where it sometimes made doing normal things, like driving, extremely difficult that she ordered the MRI.  I believe that she might not be taking my concerns as seriously as she normally would, because my symptoms other than being dizzy don't really fall in line with having a possible brain tumor.  As I mentioned in my post, the MRI was only done as a precaution and my doctor didn't even think that something was wrong with my brain. I definitely don't plan to get another MRI unless its absolutely necessary, but I won't stop pushing until I get some clearer answers! 

Thank you for sharing your experience and advice! I'll be sure to update as soon as I have some clearer information!

RE: MRI Confusion

by rmp1399 on Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:59 PM

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This would absolutely be so frustrating! I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. I also know what it's like to go to a military hospital and gets answers. It can be difficult at some places. I just hope you can get another opinion....maybe off post. Just this week I had a friend (who's been going to our military hospital for stomach pains for over 18 months) and just now.... they found stage 3cancer. Keep pushing until you're satisfied!

RE: MRI Confusion

by Bugbabe_311 on Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:37 PM

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If you go online to Barrow Neurological (based in Phoenix, AZ), they have a whole page dedicated to 'second opinions.'   It's a option to have some of the best and the brightest in the field read your MRI's.  They are world-class and I think the second opinion fee is nominal.  Good luck and keep pushing..

My husband's GBM was originally diagnosed as "You're a little overweight, you need to lose 20 lbs and start taking these vitamin Ds."  

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