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Wait time for results and chemotherapy

24 Nov 2022 10:10

My Dad passed away early November 2022 after a short battle with cancer.

I can't help but feel that he was let down by the amount of time it took for him to get a diagnoses and start treatment.

He first went into hospital June 2022 with jaundice. At this stage, apart from the jaundice, he was appeared healthy. He was a good weight and still physically fit and active.

The doctors discovered a lump on the outside of his bile duct witch was causing a blockage. A stent was inserted and eventually the jaundice went. A biopsy was done on the lump which showed it NOT to be cancerous.

Dad was in hospital this time round 3 - 4 weeks and he was discharged once the biopsy results were back.

After being discharged he was called by the hospital a week or so later and was told they would like him to have a liver biopsy done just to make sure there wasn't cancer anywhere. This biopsy was done and the results came back 2 weeks later which showed it NOT to be cancerous.

The hospital then said they would like to take a biopsy from the other side of my dad's liver to check there as well.  Once this 2nd biopsy was done the results took 6 weeks to come back. We received these results 3 October 2022 and these were the results which were a positive for cancer.

By this time, my dad had lost quite a bit of weight and was in pain most days. He was eating quite little and having naps throughout the day.

We had an oncology appointment the following week and my dad was due to start chemotherapy on 31 October 2022. But, unfortunately as we got to this date he wasn't fit enough to start the chemotherapy.

His stomach had grown quite a lot whilst he had been at home over these few weeks and I later learnt that this was because of ascites.

He went to hospital on 1 November 2022 for what was supposed to be a 20 minute appointment with oncology to discuss his chemotherapy but they admitted him to hospital and he died on 8 November 2022.

I can't help but think if the 2nd biopsy result hadn't taken 6 weeks to come in or that he had to wait a month after diagnosis to start chemotherapy that things would be very different.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Is this a standard amount of time to wait for results or for chemotherapy to start?

It troubles me to think that he first went in to hospital in June and by November he still hadn't received any treatment.

Thank you in advance for any comments.


Wait time for results and chemotherapy

26 Nov 2022 13:12 in response to R85208

Hello R85208

I'm so sorry to hear about the recent loss of your Dad. Undoubtedly this will be a difficult time and it's natural that you may have questions about what has happened over the past few months. 

I'd suggest getting in touch with the hospital PALS team as your first point of contact. Their role is to provide a point of contact for patients, their families, and carers and to help resolve concerns or problems. They should be able to put you in touch with someone who can talk to you about your Dad's care and hopefully answer some of your questions. 

If you'd like to chat with one of our nurses for some support and advice you're welcome to call them on 0808 800 4040, Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm. 

Our thoughts are with you at this sad time. 

Best wishes, 
Cancer Chat moderator