Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Too many CT scans?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Too many CT scans?

    Hey all,

    Tomorrow I have my first 2-month CT scan, and I have a question I'd like to ask. From what I've been reading here and other places, it seems like CT scans every 2 months is quite a bit. Should I ask my urologist to consider 3 or 4 month cycles instead? I can understand 2 months for the first scan, but I really don't want to subject my body to over-kill, especially since my tumor was found and removed so early.

    The day-before-scan-worry took it's time to get here, but I have no reason to believe tomorrow won't be full of good news!

    Bobby
    Last edited by fuse929; 07-05-07, 12:37 PM.
    4/26/07 - mass confirmed w/ no elevated markers
    4/27/07 - left I/O
    5/2/07 - Dx: 100% seminoma stage 1A
    Surveillance: CT/blood (6 month cycle)
    4/27/13 - 6 years cancer free!

  • #2
    Hi Bobby, first of all..Good luck tomorrow, I know it will go great!!

    Secondly, every 2 months is pretty standard. They will increase the time in between scans as you get farther into your survall. I hate the scans too because I always worry about too much exposure. But it sounds like your doc is doing a very common cycle.

    Not sure if it matters but Boyce has to do blood draws every 30 days and CT scans every 60 days. Looks like you are on a blood draw and CT every 60 days.

    Can't wait to hear the good news.

    M.
    Co-survivor with husband Boyce, Diagnosed 7-11-06, orchiectomy right testicle on 7-12-06- Stage 3A: Mixed germ cell tumor with inguinal seminomatous and kartotypic carcinoma. One tumor over 10 cm, second tumor 4 cm, Chemo 4xBEP: Bi-lateral RPLND Dec 2006, nerve sparing but left sterile.
    Current DVT
    Current testosterone replacement therapy, Testim.

    "You must abandon the life you planned, to live the life that was meant for you" ~wisdom I have learned from my family on this forum

    Comment


    • #3
      Yo Bobby,

      If I remember correctly, I alluded to the frequency of your CT scans some time ago when you began posting. The bimonthly scan schedule is most commonly indicated for people on surveillance for non-seminoma. You had seminoma, so such frequent CT scans are not indicated, primarily because seminoma grows very slowly. There's a paper in the reference library section ("Evidence-based Guidelines for Following Stage 1 Seminoma"; Martin, et al. Cancer 2007, 109, 2248) that you may be able to get at your school's library and find extremely useful. It's a great read, and its from the place where surveillance guidelines for TC were developed (Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto).

      Originally posted by fuse929
      The day-before-scan-worry took it's time to get here, but I have no reason to believe tomorrow won't be full of good news!
      That's quite normal, but I don't doubt that you will receive an all-clear. Best of luck!
      "Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller
      11.22.06 -Dx the day before Thanksgiving
      12.09.06 -Rt I/O; 100% seminoma, multifocal; Stage I-A; Surveillance; Six years out! I consider myself cured.

      Comment


      • #4
        Anthonys oncologist said that CT scans should not be taken lightly. A CT scan is equivalent to about 300 x-rays (according to the oncologist).

        Which is the greater risk, missing cancer by having fewer scans, or risking more health problems by having too many? I have no idea, but it's a question that is on my mind too, and maybe it's something we should be asking. I think some doctors DO consider this and some do not, yet, the protocols are there so ...

        It's a really crappy position to be in

        Son Anthony DX 12/11/06
        L/O 12/20/06 Stage IIIA, 95% EC, 5% Yolk Sac
        4XEP 1/29-4/6/ 07
        AFP started increasing3 wks later
        Residual abdominal mass found on CT
        RPLND 6/8/07
        Cancer in pathology-
        80% mature teratoma, 20% Yolk Sac. --
        No adjuvent chemo and
        AFP normalised

        July 22, 2010 ---- 3 years all clear!

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks guys. Fed, I remember you commenting on the 2 months cycle in my previous thread, which is one of the main reasons I wanted to bring up the question again. I think at the time of diagnosis, I was so excited hearing that I was almost definitely cured, that I didn't really give much though to surveillance concerns (too much radiation). Now that I have had some time to think about it, I agree that every 2 months seems a bit excessive, compared to most other people with a stage 1 seminoma. I'm definitely gonna check out the paper you recommend tonight, and have a discussion with my urologist tomorrow.

          Bobby
          4/26/07 - mass confirmed w/ no elevated markers
          4/27/07 - left I/O
          5/2/07 - Dx: 100% seminoma stage 1A
          Surveillance: CT/blood (6 month cycle)
          4/27/13 - 6 years cancer free!

          Comment


          • #6
            Every 2 months is too much. Refer to the NCCN Guidelines for Stage 1A seminoma surveillence:



            It is nice to get a scan to show you are all clear, but as Fed stated, seminoma typically grows slowly, hence the recommendations for less frequent scans.
            Right I/O 4/17/06, Seminoma Stage Ib
            RT (15 days) completed 6/1/06
            All clear as of 5/8/09

            Comment


            • #7
              Bobby, sounds like for Stage 1A seminoma I was off. Sorry about that

              It says for my husband's cancer, he sould get a CT every 2-3 months. But it just so happens that it was on my calendar to call and get his next CT scan lined up...so we called today and they are moving my husband to blood draw every 60 days and a CT scan every 4 months.

              Now he jus had the RPLND in December and 4 rounds BEP...does this sound right to you? It sounds like they are waiting too long in between CT scans and blood draws to me. I just want to be careful and not just accept their advice with out asking you guys

              Thanks
              Co-survivor with husband Boyce, Diagnosed 7-11-06, orchiectomy right testicle on 7-12-06- Stage 3A: Mixed germ cell tumor with inguinal seminomatous and kartotypic carcinoma. One tumor over 10 cm, second tumor 4 cm, Chemo 4xBEP: Bi-lateral RPLND Dec 2006, nerve sparing but left sterile.
              Current DVT
              Current testosterone replacement therapy, Testim.

              "You must abandon the life you planned, to live the life that was meant for you" ~wisdom I have learned from my family on this forum

              Comment


              • #8
                Margaret,

                The NCCN guideline that Sans posted, if I'm reading it correctly, says that after "full response" to chemo or RPLND, CT scans should be every 6 months for the first year then every 6-12 months for the 2nd year with CXR every 3-4 months. It doesn't mention anything about blood draws. I hope that helps!

                Bobby
                4/26/07 - mass confirmed w/ no elevated markers
                4/27/07 - left I/O
                5/2/07 - Dx: 100% seminoma stage 1A
                Surveillance: CT/blood (6 month cycle)
                4/27/13 - 6 years cancer free!

                Comment


                • #9
                  mstlyn said "Anthonys oncologist said that CT scans should not be taken lightly. A CT scan is equivalent to about 300 x-rays (according to the oncologist)."

                  Well, each "scan visit" includes 2 scans...one with contrast and one without.
                  So that's 600 x-rays per scan visit.

                  That's why I think they should provide a testicle shield, since the pelvic scan goes right through the testicle. Each time I do a scan I ask about it. They just smile and tell me not to worry.

                  My surveillance scan schedule for Stage 1 seminoma is Abdomen+Pelvis scan every 3 months for 1st year.

                  -AlexG

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I just got off the phone with my urologist, and he told me that after tomorrow's scan, he is moving the surveillance to 1 scan every 4 months. He said he must have made a mistake when he told me every 2 months, because it is not something he would ever recommend. He said he only likes to do the first scan after 2 months to be sure there was no metastasis.

                    Haha.......I dunno what I would do without advice from you guys.
                    4/26/07 - mass confirmed w/ no elevated markers
                    4/27/07 - left I/O
                    5/2/07 - Dx: 100% seminoma stage 1A
                    Surveillance: CT/blood (6 month cycle)
                    4/27/13 - 6 years cancer free!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fuse929
                      He said he only likes to do the first scan after 2 months to be sure there was no metastasis.
                      It was the same with me; my first scan was in Feburary, 2 months after the I/O. It's been every 4 months since then, with the next one slated for October (right before the LIVESTRONG Challenge in Austin!)

                      Best of luck tomorrow, champ!
                      "Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller
                      11.22.06 -Dx the day before Thanksgiving
                      12.09.06 -Rt I/O; 100% seminoma, multifocal; Stage I-A; Surveillance; Six years out! I consider myself cured.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AlexG
                        mstlyn said "Anthonys oncologist said that CT scans should not be taken lightly. A CT scan is equivalent to about 300 x-rays (according to the oncologist)."

                        Well, each "scan visit" includes 2 scans...one with contrast and one without.
                        So that's 600 x-rays per scan visit.

                        That's why I think they should provide a testicle shield, since the pelvic scan goes right through the testicle. Each time I do a scan I ask about it. They just smile and tell me not to worry.

                        My surveillance scan schedule for Stage 1 seminoma is Abdomen+Pelvis scan every 3 months for 1st year.

                        -AlexG


                        Check this out X ray comparison. An chest xray = 10 days of Natural Background Radiation, a CT scan = 3 years

                        If I had no history of cancer, there is no way I would get a "Full Body Scan" (a voluntary CT scan for healthy people that YOU pay for) HOWEVER, I had cancer, and that 3 years of Natural Background Radiation every 3 months is worth it.

                        In medicine, it is all about "risk vs. benefit". Sure a CT scan is a lot of radiation, but it's better (IMO) that missing cancer again. Hey, I was lucky I found it the first time...I don't want to risk it again.

                        As far as non-seminoma, the west coast expert Dr. Skinner told me the typical protocal is every 3 months during year one, every 4 months on year two, and every 6 months for year three. Beyond year three, CT scans are not considered necessary.

                        Lastly, my doctor told me that there is a low risk that all of those CT scans would brain my damage.

                        ________
                        red head girl Cams
                        Last edited by BeachTech; 08-12-11, 12:26 AM.
                        BeachTech
                        Diagnosis
                        Diagnosed May 2005
                        Stage IIa
                        Pure Embryonic Carcinoma
                        One 2.0cm tumor in testicle
                        One 1.0cm tumor in lymph node

                        Treatment
                        Radical orchiectomy
                        Two cycles of BEP
                        Two cycles of EP (the Bleo was causing lung issues)

                        Complications
                        Pulmonary Embolism (Almost died)
                        Extremely low red blood count (Required 4 blood transfusion)

                        Status
                        In remission since August 2005
                        July 2011-tumor markers clean!

                        Favorite Question
                        "Which testicle did they remove?"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          .

                          In 2 years of surveillance I had 2 CAT scans : first right after chemo [to see the curative effects] and the second after one year. Now i'm preparing for the third and after that i'll do regulary scans from 2 to 2 years. Bealive or not, o've read some studies about the negative effects of CAT radiation [increasing risk of malignacies and heart diseases]. Even more dangerous it seems to be XRays scans. Of course, doing only the blood work checkup for such o long period implies some risks
                          Last edited by AdrianB1971; 07-09-07, 05:07 AM.
                          2005-03
                          Stage III EC 85% + Sem 15%
                          AFP=2.6; HCG=10, 20,28 and rising
                          FULL CAT scan:
                          -abdominal lymph clear
                          -subpleural lungs metastasis [bipulmonary lesions with diam <= 1cm]
                          4 x BEP changed to 3 x BEP at my request
                          from 2005-05....Surveillance

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My first year was chest and blood work every month with a CT scan every 3 months...so 4x in one year.

                            BUT...in practice I had scans...

                            april 2006 (one week after my last bleo)
                            july 2006
                            oct 2006
                            jan 2007 was skipped - doc said with 3 good scans in a row he would skip one

                            april 2007

                            after my april scan (my one year anniversary), I now go every other month for chest/blood and ct scan every 4 months...

                            I do not know if this is true or not, but where I go, everything is digital (they do the xrays/scan and it is immediately on all the cancer centers computers) and I am told less radiation relative to the film scanners....but I have not researched this.

                            pete
                            - lump first noticed 11/20/2005
                            - I/O right Dec 8, 2005
                            - 95% embryonal / 5% seminoma
                            - normal markers PRE surgery
                            - no vascular invasion, tunica free of cancer, epididymis free of cancer, lungs free, lymph free
                            - Stage I diagnosis
                            - surveillance
                            - mid feb '06, beta hcg slightly elevated = 4.6...small enlarged lower node seen on CT scan...
                            - 3BEP began feb 20, 2006
                            - finished 3 BEP, last bleo, april 17, 2006
                            - CT scan, blood markers, chest..all clear
                            - back on surveillance

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Maybe this has already been addressed (if so forgive me) but is a CT scan better or worse than the PET scan?

                              It used to make me mad when the doc would say 'we are going to do a full CT scan, but I am sure if we see anything we will also have to do a more detailed PET scan'...so I would say since you are likely going to do a PET scan anyway, why don't we just do that first and save him the radiation?

                              He said okay and they just did the PET scan. But Boyce has been scanned more than I care to print.
                              Co-survivor with husband Boyce, Diagnosed 7-11-06, orchiectomy right testicle on 7-12-06- Stage 3A: Mixed germ cell tumor with inguinal seminomatous and kartotypic carcinoma. One tumor over 10 cm, second tumor 4 cm, Chemo 4xBEP: Bi-lateral RPLND Dec 2006, nerve sparing but left sterile.
                              Current DVT
                              Current testosterone replacement therapy, Testim.

                              "You must abandon the life you planned, to live the life that was meant for you" ~wisdom I have learned from my family on this forum

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X