Testing question

LibbyA
LibbyA Member Posts: 53
My 44 year old daughter has been treated at Wesley Brisbane for cysts in her breasts for years. Now they have found something suspicious in her breast and want to do MRI.  She’s had them before but this one needs to be done at a particular time of the month, and she’s had her uterus removed so no periods.  They said if it’s not the right time, they will repeat it.   She can no longer afford all this. She rang breastscreen and they said all they can do is book a mammogram for October, which is twelve months since her last one ( when Wesley found this lump).   Her GP said she needs the MRI but can’t order a bulk billed one.   Does anyone know where she goes from here.  Neither of us want her to wait till October.  She will pay for one MRI if needed but can’t do much more than one.
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Comments

  • Blossom1961
    Blossom1961 Member Posts: 2,344
    Supposedly if a specialist orders your MRI it is free, but not if it is a GP. My BS ordered my MRI twice before I even started treatment and I paid zilch.
  • LibbyA
    LibbyA Member Posts: 53
    You’d think the clinic would have a specialist do the order forms then. Seems like a money making venture, as they have to be done there as well. Trouble is it’s too dangerous to ignore.
  • youngdogmum
    youngdogmum Member Posts: 250
    Does she not see a breast surgeon at the Wesley? They should be able to order it and make it free. Otherwise try qld X-ray they are relatively affordable (mine was $400 whereas I’ve heard others close to $1000) 
  • LibbyA
    LibbyA Member Posts: 53
    It’s not breast cancer clinic. It’s just general breast clinic.  The letter she got said it is to be done at the right time of her cycle, which she can’t work out anyway, and at the clinic and it will cost $780. Last one she got $120 back from Medicare.
  • KarynJ
    KarynJ Member Posts: 193
    Hi @LibbyA. I had an MRI bulk billed thru Uniting Care medical imaging at St Andrews hospital in Brisbane. However it was on my spine and not my breasts. I don't know if there are different rules for bulk billing on different areas but you could give them a call and ask.
    In regards to her cycle if she has no uterus does she still have her ovaries? Because at her age they are still likely to be releasing oestrogen at various times. I suspect the only way to work this out would be repeated blood tests to measure her hormone levels. And then plan an MRI date from there.
  • youngdogmum
    youngdogmum Member Posts: 250
    @LibbyA if there’s an abnormality and an MRI is recommended I would advise whoever she sees at the Wesley to refer her to a breast surgeon who can then refer for a breast MRI bulk billed. However this will of course incur a private doctor fee to see a breast surgeon so perhaps $150 out of pocket? 
    I’m not sure what type of doctor is running a breast clinic that isn’t a breast surgeon... is there not a breast surgeon in that specific clinic she can ask to see to do the above?? 

    @KarynJ very specific rules around bulk billed breast MRIs unfortunately. 
  • ddon
    ddon Member Posts: 349
    Just ignore the advice about the right time of her cycle. They told me that too and I told them to just book it straight away and forget my cycle. They didn’t argue. She doesn’t have a uterus therefore she doesn’t have a cycle that she can calculate. 
  • KarynJ
    KarynJ Member Posts: 193
    Thanks @youngdogmum. I was wondering about that. It's always worth phoning around to get quotes on out of pocket expenses.
  • Mazbeth
    Mazbeth Member Posts: 199
    Hi I too was under the care of the Wesley Breast Clinic and can absolutely relate to the costs involved. To cut a long story short after many years of cysts and dense breast tissue, the breast specialist there recommended more extensive monitoring and referred me on to a breast surgeon/specialist who I chose. Whilst they are breast specialists at the Wesley, I think any ongoing care means being referred on. When I went to the breast specialist it was recommended that I commenced MRIs - at my expense. It seems crazy when we are actually trying to ensure we are monitoring our health and ensuring that any issues are thoroughly checked. All the best. 
  • LibbyA
    LibbyA Member Posts: 53
    I had all my treatment at the P  A.  Same team as Wesley. Cost nothing.
  • kezmusc
    kezmusc Member Posts: 1,544
    Hi.  You could ring the local imaging places and get a referral to one of the them.  The prices do vary.  I-med is about $595 and your GP can order a mammogram whenever.  She doesn't have to wait until October. Normal charges $220 - $280 depending on if a biopsy is required but you will get some back from Medicare.  Check with medicare regarding any rebate for under 50's at high risk for the MRI, I though they had made some changes, but I could be wrong.
    All the best lovely.  It sux that we have to pay just to make sure we don't have cancer....ridiculous.  

  • LibbyA
    LibbyA Member Posts: 53
    Thing is......she hasn’t got a specialist to do an order except Wesley and they do the tests themselves.  It would be best if she stayed where she was and if worst case scenario, then changed to PA, where she will keep her doctors.  Wesley has about ten years of records for her.
  • KarynJ
    KarynJ Member Posts: 193
    She can always ask her GP to request copies of all her records from the Wesley. She can then get the GP to send them on to a different specialist of her own choosing. Wesley seems to be more like a screening service and if anything is found they send you back to your GP for further referral eg PA or Mater. That's how it worked for me. 
  • jintie
    jintie Member Posts: 114
    When Mum was diagnosed, she couldn’t have a MRI until her biopsy came back positive with BC.  That’s the new criteria for ‘free’ MRI.
  • Brenda5
    Brenda5 Member Posts: 2,423
    I've never had an Mri. When diagnosed from mammogram I had an ultrasound guided needle biopsy and went from there. I do have a cyst in the other breast and every year they measure and observe with an ultrasound. I am 57 now.