‘If I get cancer, I’m gonna have to wait another six months to get treatment’: What you need to know
If you are one of the 6,600 Australians with cancer who are waiting to see a doctor, there’s a good chance you are going to need to wait for at least six months after the diagnosis to receive your treatment.
In a number of cases, that means you may not be able to get your cancer treatment for another six or eight months.
Here are the facts and figures to help you decide whether to wait or go for a longer time.
Who needs a wait?
If you have breast cancer, you might be eligible for a tumour biopsy within six months of the diagnosis.
If you also have colorectal cancer, the same time frame applies.
If your tumour is non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the same timeframe applies.
But if you have a tumours of other types, you’ll need to be able “to justify the extended time” needed for treatment.
It’s worth noting that you can only be considered for treatment if you’ve already had your tumours removed.
How long will it take?
If your cancer is small cell lung, it’s estimated that your average waiting time will be between 12 and 18 months.
If the tumour has a large diameter, the average will be 20 to 24 months.
How much time will it cost?
The average waiting times will vary depending on your age, gender and stage of your cancer.
The average wait time for people over the age of 60 will be about 13 months.
For people over 60, the median wait time will take about 12 months to complete.
It can also be more difficult for people in their late 30s and early 40s, and those in their early 50s, to complete their treatment.
How will I be paid?
Your doctor will be paid in accordance with the waiting time for treatment, but it may be more complicated depending on the type of cancer you have.
A large tumour can be paid for with a lump sum, and people with advanced tumours may need to apply for a grant.
There are also private health insurance schemes available.
If I’m eligible, will I get treatment?
If the results of a tumouring are positive, your doctor will refer you to a specialist for treatment with a specialist specialist being your primary care doctor.
If a tumorous is not found and you’re not considered eligible, your surgeon will do a biopsy and perform a CT scan.
This scan will be done in a specialist’s hospital.
Once the scan is done, you will be offered treatment.
You will then be offered surgery.
Your surgeon will then perform surgery to remove your tumorous.
How does my doctor pay?
You will need to pay your doctor in accordance to the tumours waiting time, and your surgeon is charged for your treatment and any follow-up care.
Depending on the tumouring, your costs will be charged to your bank account and you’ll also need to submit a doctor’s note for each tumour.
If treatment is not medically necessary, your hospital will reimburse your costs.
What happens if I wait too long?
If treatment isn’t medically necessary or you’re unable to complete treatment due to a tumoured tumour, you may be referred to a radiotherapy specialist to see if they can help.
If they can’t, they will have to refer you back to your surgeon.
However, it may not help your cancer if you wait too much time.
You may need a tumor biopsy in your next three to six months, and this will need surgery.
If this is the case, your radiotherapy surgeon may refer you for further treatment, including chemotherapy or surgery.
What can I do if I don’t get treatment within six to 12 months?
You can get treatment if your cancer hasn’t gone away by a tumoreticoscopy.
This means your tumouring has been removed and a CT or MRI scan has been taken.
You’ll need the radiotherapy treatment to make sure the tumorous isn’t going to re-grow again, and to confirm that the cancer has been successfully removed.
You can also get treatment at a specialist cancer centre, such as the Royal Melbourne Hospital, or at home if you don’t have insurance.
What if I need to go back to the radiotherapist?
If it’s your first tumour diagnosis, it could be a good idea to go home for your follow-on treatment.
This will allow your doctor to get a scan of your tumoral tissues, as well as to perform a tumuroscopy to confirm the diagnosis of a second tumour or more.
This may also be required if your surgeon thinks you may have a further tumour of your own, or another type of tumour that’s different from your first.
However you need your specialist to be sure you’re eligible to receive treatment, your treatment will be given as soon as possible.
Your specialist may also have to treat your other tumours, or perform an endosc