• Mel's Avatar

    Scans, Tests after Chemo.??

    Asked by Mel on Tuesday, February 5, 2013

    Scans, Tests after Chemo.??

    How many should I be getting? Whether be 6 mon to every year? I did 1 scan so far and they are not sure I will do any more seem odd?

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      After I completed chemo, my Oncologist did one more PET Scan and then one more CT Scan. Both looked great so he decided that I wouldn't need anymore scans which I'm fine with...With my cancer, the tumor marker test is pretty dependable so he does blood work and a chest xray every 3 months.

      over 3 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      I finished chemo and had a CT scan of my abdomen and pelvis. I had an MRI of my brain, as I was getting severe headaches. All were clear so I won't have anymore scans unless it is necessary (i.e. I feel something is "off" or I have pain lasting more than a week or so). Most oncologists don't do scans that often to look for mets because they don't want to subject you to more radiation than is necessary. I have blood work every other month and if, at the end of the first year, everything is still good, we go to blood work quarterly and then every 6 months.

      over 3 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      The normal disipline in oncology is that while on treatment, scans are done every three months to assess whether the treatment is effective. PETs are usually approved twice a year, and MRIs are only done when the radiologist recommends, or to determine if mets to the brain are suspected. Some markers are very reliable and with breast cancer they usually are so you can use them as a gage, whereas a marker like a CA-125 is notorious for false positives so the diagnosis or suspected progression should be backed up with a scan. There is a lot of radiation dose to consider as Nancebeth has so eloquently stated. As an example; one CT of the abdomen is equivalent to anywhere between[phone number redacted] chest x-ray radiation doses depending on the dose given. One mammogram is anywhere from 20 -300 chest x-ray equivalency in the amount of radiation recieved. When you look at it in that way, somehow less is definitely more. Good luck, Carm RN.

      over 3 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Most oncologists, including mine, only do scans when there is a clinical reason to do so, such as symptoms or abnormalities through physical exams or blood analysis.

      over 3 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      My onc does labs, tumor markers, physical and history at each appt. He only does scans if the patient is symptommatic or asks for scans. For me, I'm happy to NOT have any scans...one less thing to cause anxiety...The only scans I had were during Dx......

      over 3 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      I have blood work - tumor markers - physical exam - etc. at each appointment. However, my Oncologist will follow up with Scans at 1-1/2 or 2 years. I am opting for 1-1/2 years which will be May. Yes, I am sure it will cause me some anxiety but it is one more hurdle to put closure on this past year and move forward. I don't believe there will be any more scans unless they are indicated through the normal testing. Good Luck!

      over 3 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar

      I did not qualify for any scans due to a new protocol between the oncologists and insurance companies. I had two nodes involved and the new protocol requires 4 or more node involvement. I am cool with that, blood work and chest x-ray or bone scan works for me.

      over 3 years ago
    • SusanK's Avatar

      Some oncologists favor more scans than others. Mine says a yearly chest x-ray and semi-annual blood work will be our protocol, unless I have some concerning symptoms. I have had frequent and intense headaches the last month, so he ordered a brain MRI to be on the safe side. Turns out I have a cyst in my sinuses. He told me to see my family physician for help with that and said, "You are doing great. See you in six months."

      over 3 years ago
    • HollyGolightly's Avatar

      Great question Mel. My onc does not do any scans. She believes that nothing will show until there is symptoms. But I never had symptoms when I was diagonised with Breast Cancer either. I would like to have one, just to feel better that everything is okay. Although I feel better knowing that others have not have scans either. I am going to smilow tomorrow and I think I will see what they think about scans after treatment has been completed.

      over 3 years ago

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