Su información médica y la Ley de Curas del Siglo XXI

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En esta información se responden preguntas frecuentes sobre diferentes tipos de notas y resultados de pruebas que puede ver en MyMSK, nuestro portal para pacientes.

Como paciente de Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK), ahora puede ver información médica que no había podido ver en el pasado. También puede ver los resultados de algunas pruebas y exploraciones médicas antes de lo que podía hacerlo en el pasado.

Los pacientes tienen mayor acceso digital a su información médica gracias a una ley llamada Ley de Curas del Siglo XXI. Los centros médicos de todo el país deben cumplir con esta ley para el 6 de octubre de 2022.

A continuación, obtenga más información sobre cómo puede ver y comprender la información médica en MyMSK, nuestro portal para pacientes.

Preguntas frecuentes sobre cómo ver sus notas en MyMSK

You can read visit notes in MyMSK, our patient portal. These are the notes that your healthcare provider writes after your visit. They may include information about your exam, medications, test results, and the next steps in your care. Reading them can help you remember the details of your visit and feel more in control of your health. Visit notes become part of your medical record.

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Which notes can I see?

Starting with visits on August 24, 2021, you can use MyMSK to see the notes your providers write after many kinds of outpatient visits. We do not have notes in MyMSK for visits to some departments, such as counseling, inpatient care, pediatrics, psychiatry, social work, supportive care, sexual medicine, rehabilitation, and most genetics visits. You’ll be able to see notes from all Gynecology Surgery and Gynecologic Medical Oncology visits that took place after September 14, 2020. If you’re in the Survivorship Program, you can see notes from your visits that took place after December 1, 2019.

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When can I see my notes?

It can take up to a few weeks after the visit for the note to be available in MyMSK. Starting on August 24, 2021, we will have notes for most outpatient visits.

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How do I sign up for alerts about visit notes?

If you signed up to get email alerts about new lab results, you’ll get one when a new visit note is in MyMSK. If you would like to get emails when you have visit notes and lab results, follow these steps:

  1. Select the circle that has your initials in it on the top right of the MyMSK page
  2. Select Profile
  3. Select Settings
  4. Select Notifications
  5. Look for Account Activity. On the right, you’ll see a + sign
  6. Select +
  7. Select Send Daily in the column next to “New lab results and visit notes available” 
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Where can I find my notes?

You can read visit notes in MyMSK by following these steps:

  1. On the blue banner at the top of the MyMSK page, select Medical Info
  2. Select Medical Documents
  3. You’ll see the notes listed as Visit Notes

If you have trouble finding your notes, please call the MyMSK Help Desk toll free at 800-248-0593 or at 646-227-2593, Monday through Friday between and (Eastern time).

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Who can see my notes?

You and anyone with access to your MyMSK account can see these notes. Family and friends who are an important part of your care can view your MyMSK account if you give them your permission. Remember, when you give someone this proxy access, they can see all of your medical records in MyMSK. This includes your visit notes, as well as records about your treatment, test results, and diagnostic information. They can see your billing information, but they can’t see your consent, insurance, and registration forms.

You can view and update who has access to your account by following these steps:

  1. Select the circle that has your initials in it on the top right of the MyMSK page
  2. Select Profile
  3. Select Account Access
  4. Follow the directions for viewing or changing account access
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How can I share my notes?

You can share your notes and send them to anyone you want to see them. This includes your healthcare providers outside of MSK, your caregiver, and friends and family who support you in your care. Share your notes by downloading them to your computer, or through the MyMSK mobile app.

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When is it helpful to read my notes?

  • After your visit, to make sure you understood what you and your healthcare provider discussed.
  • Between appointments, so you can review your healthcare provider’s instructions.
  • Before your next visit, to help you remember what happened at the last visit. This also may help you think of new information to share with your healthcare provider, and new questions to ask.
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What if I don’t understand my note?

You may not understand everything in your healthcare provider’s note. The names of some visit notes may look a bit hard to read and understand because they’re from your electronic health record. Also, healthcare providers use medical words to explain your health to other members of your healthcare team, and it’s common for patients to not know the meaning of some words. You can find definitions on websites such as the National Cancer Institute and WebMD. You can also use “Messages” in MyMSK to ask your healthcare provider about the note. Usually you’ll get their answer in 2 business days (Monday through Friday).

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What if I see a mistake in my note?

If you think your note is wrong or incomplete, contact the healthcare provider who wrote it by using “Messages” in MyMSK. Your healthcare team will take a look and get back to you. Usually you’ll get their answer in 2 business days (Monday through Friday). They may message you if they need more information from you, or more time to review the possible mistake. If there’s an error throughout your medical record, you’ll need to fill out a form called a Patient Request for Amendment of Records. Your healthcare team will tell you if you need to complete the form and will send it to you.

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The end of my note has “time spent” and “non face-to-face activities.” What does that mean?

This is information MSK uses to describe your visit. “Time spent” means the time your healthcare provider spent on this visit. It can include time your provider spent reviewing records before the visit, documentation, and activities after the visit. It does not mean how long your visit lasted, or how long your provider spent with you during your visit. You also may see information about the “visit level.” This describes how complex your visit was. You also may see other information, such as diagnosis codes, and whether this was a telemedicine visit.

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What if I want to see all my notes?

Seeing your visit notes in MyMSK is different from seeing all of your medical records. You can ask us for a copy of your medical records by following these steps:

  1. On the blue banner at the top of the MyMSK page, select Medical Info.
  2. On the bottom right of the page, select Ask for Your Medical Records.
  3. Follow the instructions.

If you ask us for your medical records using this method, you will not see them here in MyMSK. If you have questions, please call our Release of Information Unit at 646-227-2089.

Preguntas frecuentes sobre cómo ver los resultados de sus pruebas de radiología en MyMSK

This information answers some common questions about viewing radiology reports about your test results in MyMSK, our patient portal.

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When can I see my radiology results?

Imaging results (such as PET, MRI and CT scans) and most pathology results:

  • They are available in MyMSK 2 business days (Monday through Friday) after we enter them in our computer system.

Screening mammography and screening breast ultrasound results:

  • They are available in MyMSK on the same day or the next business day.
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Where can I find my radiology report?

You can see the report about your results in MyMSK using the app or the web browser (desktop or mobile device):

  • If you’re using the MyMSK mobile app, select Medical Info. Then select Test Results.
  • If you’re using the web browser, select Medical Info on the blue banner at the top of the screen. Then select Test Results and Reports. 

If you have trouble finding your test reports, please call the MyMSK Help Desk toll free at 800-248-0593 or at 646-227-2593. They are available Monday through Friday between and (Eastern time).

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How do I get a copy of my radiology report?

  • If you need a copy of the radiology report (not the images on CD), please call our Medical Records office at 646-227-2089. For radiology reports, select option 2. You will be connected to the film library.
  • If you need a copy of the images on a CD, the film library can help. You must make your request in writing for a copy of the CD. Please fill out a Release of Information form. Then print, sign, and fax it to 212-717-3020.
  • You can also ask for a copy of the radiology report at the radiology reception desk. It’s in the main hospital building, 2nd floor, “A” elevator.
  • In the web browser version of MyMSK: Select Medical Info on the blue banner. Select Ask for Your Medical Records.
  • In the MyMSK mobile app: Select Med Info on the bottom of your screen. Then, select Export in the top right corner of your screen. You can download your lab and test results, including your radiology reports. You can then share them with other healthcare providers, caregivers, or family.
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How are my scans read?

A radiologist is a doctor who specializes in medical imaging. Your radiologist will look at your scan images and write a report to your doctor. First, they may review your medical record. This lets them learn more about your health conditions and the treatments you had. If there are other scans in your MSK medical record, your radiologist will compare them to look for changes. The report will have your radiologists findings (observations). 

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What if I don’t understand the report?

Radiologists use medical words to explain your health to other members of your care team. For most people, it’s common not to know the meaning of some words. You can find definitions below and on websites such as www.radiologyinfo.org

Don’t try to understand the results by yourself. Instead, talk with your doctor. They can help you understand the report, based on your medical history, physical examination, laboratory tests, and past radiology exams.

Here are some common terms used in radiology reports and what they mean.

General terms
Artifact

Something that shows up in your scan that can make it harder for your radiologist to interpret the images. The artifact can be caused things such as metal in your body, or if you move during the scan.

Benign Something that is not a cancer.
Indeterminate

This finding is seen in a few health conditions. We can’t make a diagnosis just from the imaging study.

Infectious/inflammatory

Something in your scan that can be caused by an infection or inflammation (swelling). The swelling may be from a reaction to a drug, or an immune response.

Lesion

An area that looks unusual. A lesion can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).

Malignant A cancer tumor that can spread to other parts of the body.
Mass Abnormal tissue that can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
Metastasis A piece of tumor that has spread from the main tumor (also known as the primary tumor).
Nodule A rounded or oval growth that can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
Nonspecific The finding is seen in many different conditions.
Physiologic A normal situation for how your body works.
Reference range

Test results are often reported as numbers. To understand the numbers, we compare them to what’s normal for most people. A “reference range” tells you what numbers are usually normal. Comparing your numbers to the reference range can show you and your doctor if there’s a problem.

Tumor deposit, tumor implant Words to describe a piece of tumor somewhere in the body.
Unremarkable We found nothing abnormal or wrong to report about that part of your body.
Findings in body parts
Atelectasis

A complete or partial collapse of some part of your lung. This often happens because your air sacs are deflated (have no air). Atelectasis is very common. It can show up in the image if you did not take a complete breath. Sometimes it shows up because extra fluid is in the space around your lung. This is called a pleural effusion.

Blastic lesion, sclerotic lesion Area where your bones grow faster.
Cyst in kidney or liver

A cyst is a pocket filled with fluid or other material. They are common, and usually not cancer. If a cyst concerns your radiologist, you may have more tests.

Diverticulum (or several diverticula, diverticulosis)

An outward bulging, most often found in the colon (large intestine). It is not cancer.

Fatty liver (also called hepatic steatosis)

This is a common finding that shows a higher amount of fat in the liver. It can be caused by liver disease or other conditions.

IPMN in pancreas

This is an abbreviation for Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasm. It is common and usually is not cancer. In a small number of cases, it can develop into cancer. Often, an IPMN needs follow-up imaging tests. The tests check if the lesion has grown or changed over time.

Lymph node sizes

The normal size of a lymph node depends on its location. Lymph nodes can get bigger for many reasons, such as an infection or tumor growth. Radiologists describe the sizes of enlarged (bigger) lymph nodes. Your doctor will interpret that information based on the disease you have.

Lytic lesion An area within a bone of destroyed bone.
Opacity A part of the lung that looks different than normal lung. It can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
Stenosis, stricture A narrowing of tubes, such as the ones that carry blood or are connected to the kidneys or intestines.
PET-CT
Metabolic activity

The chemical changes that take place in cells and tumors.

Physiologic uptake (at PET-CT)

The normal use of sugar that all cells in the body need to survive.

SUV and liver reference values (at PET-CT)

During a PET scan, you’re injected with radioactive material. Standardized Uptake Value (SUV) shows how much of that injected substance is found in an area of your body.  Your PET scan report records this measurement.

CT
Attenuation

This shows how much energy from X-rays is absorbed by a tissue or other substance in your body. We sometimes use it to describe a narrowing of tubes, such as the ones that carry blood.

MRI
Hyperintense

Something that is brighter than another part of the image, such as muscle or liver.

Hypointense Something that is darker than another part of the image, such as fat.
Signal The brightness or darkness of each point in an image. Tissues and other substances give off different amounts of signal.
Ultrasound (Sonogram)
Echogenic (also called hyperechoic) A material or substance that is brighter than the area around it on the ultrasound image.
Hypoechoic A material or substance that is darker than the area around it on the ultrasound image.
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The report mentions tiny lung nodules, or nodular thickening of adrenal gland. What does that mean?

Radiologists use words to describe what they see on the pictures of your insides. When an organ has something that usually is not there, we can describe it as a lesion, nodule, mass, lump, thickening, or nodularity (see list of definitions). These findings are not specific. Often, they do not mean there is cancer.

For example, a CT scan of a lung finds a tiny, benign (not cancer) nodule in about 2 out of every 3 people. It’s often from scars from a past infection. We usually monitor these tiny or nonspecific lesions at follow-up exams. Benign lesions in general will not grow.

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What does “too small to characterize” mean?

Radiology equipment can show many tiny flaws inside your body. Just as no 2 people look the same from the outside, their insides also look different. Most of the time, tiny lesions are so small radiologists describe them as “too small to characterize.”

They usually do not mean there is a serious problem. Many are benign (not cancer) cysts, for example. We usually monitor them at follow-up exams. Benign lesions in general will not grow.

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The report mentions a possible tumor in a part of my body different from the one that was tested. Why?

An imaging scan can show an abnormality (something that isn’t normal) in a different area than the one tested. You may not have any symptoms in this area. These “incidental” (additional) findings (observations) often are not serious.

Sometimes, they can mean there’s a major problem. Finding the problem before it causes symptoms is very useful. That’s why radiologists mention these results in their reports. They also can recommend what steps to take.

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What is an anatomic variation?

Everyone’s insides are not arranged the exact same way. Before birth, our bodies develop small differences. They’re usually are normal and will not harm you.

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Why did my radiologist recommend another test?

Each kind of radiology scan gives certain information about the body. The information is different for each test, because each scan makes images of your body in different ways.

Another type of scan can give new, different information than a test you already had. Also, your radiologist can see something on one kind of scan, but not on another. Your doctor will decide the next steps in your treatment.

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Why did the radiologist recommend close-interval follow-up imaging in my report?

Many scans show results that are not important to your health. We learn if it’s important by repeating a test. We often will ask you to get another scan either weeks or months later.

The second scan can tell us if the lesion grew or changed. A lesion that does not grow or change is less of a concern than one that does. It may not need testing, such as a biopsy (taking tissue samples from the lesion). 

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How is a PET-CT scan different from a CT scan?

A CT scan uses x-rays to make a detailed view of the inside of your body. The

A PET-CT scan is an imaging procedure that uses radiation from an injected medicine. We use a PET-CT scan to find or check the growth of cancer tumors. We also use it to check the health of your tissues and organs.

The CT part of a PET-CT scan mostly helps your radiologist read the PET scan. CT scans use a very low dose of X-rays to take pictures. These CT pictures are not as clear as the ones from a regular CT scan. Your doctor may order a different kind of CT scan to get more information.

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Should I be worried about radiation exposure from my CT or PET-CT scan?

A scan uses a very small amount of radiation to let your radiologist see the inside of your body. The dose of radiation is at the lowest level possible to make the images your radiologist needs. Your doctor ordered the scan because its benefits are greater than the very small risk caused by the radiation. Visit www.radiologyinfo.org/patient-safety to learn more about radiation doses.

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My report’s impression section does not mention everything that’s in the findings section. Why?

Radiology scans, such as CTs and MRIs, show thousands of details inside the body. Radiologists are doctors trained to recognize signs of disease or good health in different kinds of scans.

In the Findings section, they write their observations (findings) about items that may interest the doctor who ordered the test. In the Impression section, they give a summary of their findings. They choose the ones that are most important to your doctors so they can make decisions about your treatment.

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On follow-up scans, a different radiologist often re-measures the size of a lesion. Why do they get different measurements of the same lesion?

Measurements in radiology are not perfect. A lesion often has an uneven shape, fuzzy borders, or a different position. We expect to see slight differences in measurements. They usually are not big enough to need changes in your treatment plan.

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Why do my radiology reports from MSK look different from my reports from my other healthcare providers?

Reports from MSK look different from other radiology providers’ reports, which have many paragraphs. At MSK, we use a special format called standardized reporting. Each of the more than 300 different types of imaging studies performed at MSK has its own format. It shows the results that are most important to your care plan. Our reports are easier to read and understand, and are more consistent.

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What do the numbers at the end of my report mean?

Every MSK radiology report has numbers printed at the bottom, called a standardized certainty lexicon. Our radiologists estimate the probability (chance) that you have a diagnosis. The numbers tell you whether it’s likely a lesion could be a health problem.  We don’t do these estimates for breast scans.

Consistent with Greater than 90%
Suspicious for/Probable/Probably About 75%
Possible/Possibly About 50%
Less likely About 25%
Unlikely Less than 10%
  © MSKCC 2012

If you have any questions about your radiology test results, please contact your MSK healthcare provider.

Preguntas frecuentes sobre cómo ver sus resultados de pruebas genéticas en MyMSK

Esta información le ayudará conocer más sobre los resultados de su prueba genética. No es un plan de control del cáncer. Hable con su proveedor de cuidados de la salud antes de tomar cualquier decisión sobre exámenes de detección del cáncer o cirugías. Él le ayudará a elaborar un plan de control del cáncer según los resultados de su examen genético y en sus antecedentes personales y familiares en materia de cáncer.

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¿Cuándo puedo ver mis resultados?

Los resultados de su prueba genética se le darán a conocer automáticamente a usted y al proveedor de cuidados de la salud que la solicitó. Su proveedor de cuidados de la salud se comunicará con usted después de revisarlos.

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¿Dónde puedo encontrar mis resultados?

Puede ver los resultados de su prueba genética en MyMSK usando la aplicación o el navegador web (dispositivo móvil o de escritorio):

  • Si utiliza la aplicación móvil MyMSK, seleccione Medical Info (Información médica). Luego seleccione Test Results (Resultados de pruebas).

  • Si utiliza su navegador web, seleccione Información médica en el banner azul en la parte superior de la pantalla. A continuación, seleccione Test Results and Reports (Resultados de pruebas e informes).

Si tiene problemas para encontrar los resultados de su prueba, llame a la línea de ayuda gratuita de MyMSK al 800-248-0593 o al 646-227-2593. El servicio está disponible de lunes a viernes de a (hora del este).

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¿Qué significa que el resultado del examen sea positivo?

Un resultado positivo de la prueba significa que se encontró un cambio en un gen (conocido como mutación). Esa mutación puede ayudar a explicar por qué a una persona se le diagnosticó cáncer. También puede explicar por qué existen ciertos tipos de cáncer en una familia.

Una mutación también puede significar que existe un mayor riesgo de padecer ciertos tipos de cáncer. Los riesgos de cáncer y el tipo específico de cáncer pueden ser diferentes para diferentes mutaciones. Para algunas mutaciones, los riesgos de padecer un cáncer específico pueden ser altos. Para otras mutaciones, los riesgos pueden ser menores.

A las personas que tienen mutaciones se les pueden ofrecer exámenes de detección especiales o más frecuentes para intentar hallar el cáncer lo antes posible. Los exámenes específicos que se hagan dependerán del gen que presenta la mutación. En el caso de algunas mutaciones, no existen pautas claras sobre cuáles son los mejores exámenes de detección que se deben hacer o con qué frecuencia hay que realizarlos.

A las personas que tienen mutaciones también se les pueden ofrecer ciertos tipos de cirugías. Estas cirugías pueden ayudar a reducir el riesgo de padecer cáncer. Su proveedor de cuidados de la salud hablará con usted sobre sus recomendaciones para el control del cáncer.

Si una persona tiene una mutación, es posible que otros integrantes de la familia también tengan la misma mutación. Si es así, pueden tener más riesgo de padecer los tipos de cáncer que están vinculados con esa mutación.

Un asesor en genética de MSK puede ayudarle a determinar qué integrantes de la familia corren riesgo de presentar la mutación, quién debería hacerse el examen y cuándo es el momento (la edad) adecuado para hacérselo.

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¿Qué significa que el resultado del examen sea negativo?

Un resultado negativo significa que no se halló ninguna mutación. Esto puede suceder por varias razones. Por ejemplo:

  • Los antecedentes personales o familiares de cáncer pueden haberse presentado por casualidad. Hay algunos tipos de cáncer que pueden ocurrir en varias personas de una familia sin que la causa sea una mutación genética.
  • Es posible que haya una mutación genética en otros integrantes de la familia, pero que usted no la haya heredado.
  • Es posible que usted tenga una mutación en el gen o los genes que se examinaron, pero que el método de examen que se utilizó no permita hallarla. No hay una única forma de examen genético que permita encontrar todas las mutaciones que puede haber en un gen.
  • Es posible que usted tenga una mutación en otro gen. Por ejemplo, es posible que usted tenga una mutación en un gen que aún no se ha descubierto o que tenga una mutación genética muy poco frecuente.
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¿Qué significa que haya una variante de significado incierto?

Una variante de significado incierto es un cambio en un gen que aún no se comprende por completo. Todavía no sabemos si el cambio tiene algún impacto en su riesgo de padecer cáncer. Su proveedor de cuidados de la salud le recomendará exámenes de detección de cáncer en función de sus antecedentes familiares. En el futuro, es posible que las investigaciones aclaren si una variante de significado incierto aumenta el riesgo de padecer cáncer o no lo hace.

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¿Con quién me puedo comunicar si tengo preguntas?

Si tiene preguntas, llame al proveedor de cuidados de la salud de MSK que solicitó su prueba genética.

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