• I am all done with chemo and radiation as of jan 11th this year....

    Asked by nunnyperson on Friday, February 22, 2013

    I am all done with chemo and radiation as of jan 11th this year....

    I asked my Dr about doing some type of scan to make sure all the cancer is gone.....just for peace of mind for myself and my kids......She told me they don't do that......Why not?....I'm sure i'm not the only person out there that wants to make sure all the cancer is gone......I had very agressive breast cancer and had both removed last may 14th and had 10 more lymp nodes removed on may 29th.....they say they are pretty sure they got it all.....well pretty sure is not the answer i want....i want to know for sure that they got it all.....I do not want to put myself or my kids through this again.....can anyone tell me why there isn't a scan or some kind of a test to tell if they did or not.....thank you for taking the time to read my post.....

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      After I finished chemo (I had a bilat mast and recon, didnt need rads) I had a CT scan of abdomen, as my kind of cancer usually mets to lungs, liver or brain. I had an MRI of brain. All scans were clear. I won't get another scan unless there is a reason...I have pain that doesn't go away in a reasonable amount of time or something else suspicious. Most oncologists don't want to subject cancer survivors/patinets to more radiation than necessary.

      over 3 years ago
    • Queen_Tatiana's Avatar

      Mu husband has a CT scan every three months. The period betoween the CT scans would be greater if not for his colon cancer recurring over and over again.

      Did you not have chemo after the surgery? If not, why not? (not everyone has chemo, but I am curious)

      over 3 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Unfortunately, any scan has a tolerance limit so even if nothing shows on a scan, it doesn't not mean there are not a few stray cancer cells. There are also risks with any scans, so most oncologists only order them when there are clinical symptoms or reasons to believe that cancer exists. Unfortunately, "pretty sure" is the best answer available whether your have additional scans or not.

      over 3 years ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar

      Maybe they want to wait it out for a while to see if cancer comes back. Then, at that time, attack what is left of the cancer. I had exact same thoughts, but some of the tests may not detect it at this time.

      over 3 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      I had bilateral mastectomy(11 Lymph Nodes) Dec 2011 - followed by chemo, radiation and I am now on Arimidex. I had scans after surgery before Chemo. My Oncologist does scans at 1 1/2 or 2 years. I will be 1 1/2 years in May and have decided to go with the Scans. They may not be 100% in detection but I just want the peace of mind knowing that I am doing all I can to stay on guard. I totally understand your feelings and I wish you the best.

      over 3 years ago
    • Gena's Avatar
      Gena (Best Answer!)

      I had stage I breast cancer in 2005. Did lumpectomy, chemo and radiation. Onc did not do any scans at all, went by blood test only. In 2008 my cancer was back as Stage IV. So mad I did not demand scans to make sure there was no cancer in other parts of my body. I have a different onc this time around. I am on chemo but am also cancer free. Nothing is showing up. If your onc is not going to be proactive, you need to be.

      over 3 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar

      Finishing treatment is scary! We all feel like this. I know that doesn't help, but you will be checked often and also have blood tests for tumor markers. Stray cancer cells are too tiny to see on a scan and too many scans can also put you at risk. A really informative site to look at is www.breastcancer.org. Take good care, you will be ok!

      over 3 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      There is something you can try even if you are unsuccessful at getting a script for the scan of your choice.

      You don't even need a script for it. It is thermography. Tumors & cysts rarely have blood supply. They show up as cold spots in the heat scan. I don't know that the test will be able to tell benign from malignant but it will show anomolies.

      I'm so sorry you have to go through all of this. And I feel (almost) as angry as Gena about how people are treated by some in the medical community..

      Best healthy wishes

      over 3 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      The only scans that I've had were during the Dx process....Since finishing Tx (bilat, axillary dissection, chemo, rads, ooph and AI's) my onc does tumor markers, a physical and good history....he only does scans if the patient is symptomatic (or I guess if the patient requests it)....for me, I'm very happy to NOT have any scans....And besides, the scans are only a moment in time....where you are when the scans are done...they are not predictors of the future...My onc used the term "NED" (no evidence of disease)...I'll take that and live for today....

      over 3 years ago
    • themom8975's Avatar

      Check with your Doctor and ask why you can't have an MRI. I have finished treatments but my Tumor markers are going up instead of going down so I had an MRI to see if the cancer had spread.

      over 3 years ago
    • LeslieR's Avatar

      O-M-Gosh! I know exactly how you are feeling! It's like everyone is paying so much attention to you and your cancer... then your treatment ends and it's like the safety net has been pulled out from under you!!!! It's VERY scarey. I was told there are no blood tests, no meds for my type of cancer (TNBC), no scans, just go home and live your life, be "in tune" with your body. "If something feels different, let us know." they said. So you're not alone, I was told the same thing as well. I'm just taking one day at a time, that's all any of us can do really. Live with an appreciation that today is a beautiful day.

      over 3 years ago
    • ConnieB's Avatar

      I recently went to my Oncologist and asked him the same thing - isn't there a test they can do to show that the cancer is truly gone. His answer was that insurance doesn't allow Dr's to do that unless there is a concern that cancer has returned. Like you, I would feel so much better not over-reacting to every ache or pain I have.

      over 3 years ago

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