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Blood Tests?

fandaj
Posts: 83
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi everyone. I finished my chemo for stage 2 colon cancer in November 2003. I had a blood test ordered by my oncologist 6 months later. I am scheduled for another blood test in 6 months (he said to monitor my liver). My cousin, age 69 just had surgery for colon cancer (no chemo since she only had stage 1) and she has to have blood tests every 3 months. What is your opinion. Is 3 months the norm or is 6 months? I guess every patient is different, but I would appreciate your advice. Thanks, Arlene

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Arlene--I too was stage 2.My surgeon originally said that I should have a colonoscopy every 3 years!He said to get bloods done every 2-3 months and ultrasounds.
After discussion with my "new" gp(changed gp's) she said 3 years was too long and now wants a colonoscopy every 12 months with bloods 3 monthly and ultrasounds if bloods showed any change at all.They are very thorough checking my liver which is generally a met sight after colon cancer.
I did 6 months of chemo--5fu/leucovorin.
I, as others here do, get really concerned about mets showing up--and obviously we worry that they are found quickly.
I for one pressed for as many tests possible with a minimal distance between them.I would have thought 6 months to be too long but then thats my opinion.
All the best to you--luv-kanga n Jen

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Arlene -- After finishing my treatment (chemoradiation, surgery, more chemo), I have blood tests every 3 months. That being said, my CEA level was never elevated, even when I was diagosed. So I don't have much faith in it! I have other tests as well (colononscopy, CT, ultrasound of liver). These are usually annually, although my surgeon said if colonoscopy is clear this time, next one in 3 years.

cheer3's picture
cheer3
Posts: 106
Joined: May 2003

Hi Arlene,It is wonderful you have finished your chemo.It looks like we all have different schedules for our Labs,scans, and colonoscopy.
I was a stage IV with positive lymphs, and liver mets.My oncologist checks my blood every 2 months, CT&PET scan every six months. Colonoscopy every year.My oncologist told me I would not notice anything new regarding my liver until the last three weeks. At that time I would have juandice,wt loss and go into coma.That is why he feels labs need to be every two months. I have tenderness in the liver area, and my liver is inflamed. I have not had normal liver panel since I was diagnosed. The good news is he told me not to worry. He feels my liver is going to get better.
Jean

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Welcome back, stranger -

Missed seeing your posts. I have blood drawn every 3-6 months. Like Tara, my CEA isn't a good indicator of disease.

Take care, Arlene.

- SpongeBob

fandaj
Posts: 83
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi Sponge Bob, It's nice to be missed. I have a technical question. I am trying to post a new question/message, but something is wrong. I don't get the right window. Only a preview window, but no post-it message. Any suggestions? If you get this note, the reply works but not the new message. Thanks, Arlene

fandaj
Posts: 83
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi Sponge Bob, It's nice to be missed. I have a technical question. I am trying to post a new question/message, but something is wrong. I don't get the right window. Only a preview window, but no post-it message. Any suggestions? If you get this note, the reply works but not the new message. Thanks, Arlene

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

I agree with yah Monika--I guess stages of cancer and type of treatment/surgery are taken into account but it seems to me that early detection is something we all really need to seek.I guess some doc's do tend to err towards the longer break between tests and others go the complete opposite.
Now, personally I would much rather go thru more tests more often to be sure even if it is considered "overkill" by some gp's.
That is one reason why I changed my gp--and even she saw ongoing tests in a differant light to my surgeon.
I guess over there in tha states it depends on what the costs may be as well--here in Australia I mostly end up paying about $100 per test out of my pocket(the diff. made up by medicare--govt pays-or should I say "our taxes pay")
Over here they seem to shy away from PT/CT scans etc. tho.Ithink these tests are expensive and are reserved for when something that needs investigating is found.
luv to all----kanga n Jen

ps--HIYA BERT!!!!

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