• How do you know when to say "No" or "Yes" to recommended medical tests?

    Asked by KimmieC on Saturday, September 15, 2012

    How do you know when to say "No" or "Yes" to recommended medical tests?

    As a cancer survivor, it seems like every time I go to the doctor, I end up getting a recommendation for some scan or the other. I think part of this is because I was diagnosed at Stage III, and I know many healthcare providers because I worked in health care for so long, and they think, "I don;t want to be the one to miss a recurrence." Even my oncologist still seems to think I need a PET scan at least every 6 months. How do we know when to say, "No, thanks..."

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • steve70x7's Avatar

      I've had the same problem. Each doctor wants a scan, MRI, CAT or something. I finally put my foot down last week and told them to pick a coach. They did, my radiologist. I was able to cancel 2 cat scans!

      almost 6 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      There are some standard intervals for tests that oncologists tend to use with most patients. When I have no known active cancer I usually get a CT scan every 6 months. When I go longer it seems that.the cancer comes back. That being said, I recommend that you ask your oncologist to explain why he recommends a PET scan every 6 months. You have every right to an explanation in terms that you can understand. I do wonder why they recommend a PET scan as they are expensive

      almost 6 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I guess I have a different perspective. I am thankful that I have insurance that will pay for the high dollar imaging scans like PET, MRI, and CT. I am thankful that my doctors have these tools available to determine the best course of treatment and follow up monitoring for any recurrence. I am thankful that my doctors work as a team and share the results of these tests with each other. So I guess my question is, if my doctor needs a test in order to diagnose, treat, or monitor my well being, why would I say no?

      almost 6 years ago
    • nobrand's Avatar

      As long as insurance will cover the costs, I think it's good to keep a reasonable eye on your body. I would normally just say yes, as PET and CT scans aren't too bad.. just a small nuisance. However, if my doctor wanted a biopsy every six months I would say no. I'm tired of invasive procedures.. but a PET scan is just a good excuse for a nap under a warm blanket to me :)

      almost 6 years ago
    • lynn1950's Avatar

      Wow! Your oncologist is thorough. Sometimes I wish my mo would order a scan or two, just to rule out achiness I have in my mastectomy area. I am Stage III as well.

      It is hard to say no. When my oncologist thought I needed a blood transfusion for low rbc during chemo, I did not want one. It was like he was personally offended that I did not want to take his advice. Eventually I was given a drug instead, but it was a difficult situation. Stick to your guns. Of course, you sure don't want to miss a recurrence!

      almost 6 years ago

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