Second opinion prevents agressive cancer treatment for Creston resident

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To the Editor:

In June 2013, I had surgery to remove a tumour at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital. I was quite dismayed to get back a pathology report of carcinoma (a.k.a. cancer). However, as a retired laboratory technologist, I felt the pathology report did not look right, and so I asked for a second opinion. My sample was sent to a specialist in Calgary.

After almost six months of frustration and worry, I got the results back. It looks like the Cranbrook pathologist’s report was inaccurate, incomplete and totally misleading. The tumour turned out to be a benign adenoma. Yes, there is also cancer present unrelated to the tumour, but it is a variety that almost never causes problems, is often only diagnosed after death from other causes and requires observation but not treatment. The original report didn’t mention this!

Had I not requested that second opinion, I would have had to undergo a second surgery and/or a course of radiation treatment.

I strongly recommend that anyone who has testing to rule out cancer done at the Cranbrook hospital get a second opinion for the pathology report. It could help avoid further aggressive treatment or it could find the opposite, a missed cancer.

In these days of overworked medical staff, there will be resistance to further testing. Do not be afraid to push for it. You are the one who has the biggest stake in these critical results.

Angelika Licktenfeld-Teed