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How many CTs?

tenzil
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2010

Twice last year, I had pain in my lower abdomen. My family doctor referred me to a wonderful surgeon who barely touched my abdomen, asked me questions, and made an educated guess based on experience. He scheduled me for an abdominal CT which confirmed the presence of a well formed mass. My surgeon's guess was spot on. Turns out instead of 1 testicle, I really had 2. It's just 1 stayed hidden in my abdomen all those years. It's not a good thing as my surgeon explained that it becomes cancerous.

I had the tumor removed. Pathology report showed cancer cells in a few of my lymph nodes (less than half). A few weeks later, I had a chest CT which came up clean (Thank God). I survived 3 months of chemo. A month later, I had a CT of my chest, abdomen, & pelvis.

So after all the awareness of mSV from the nuclear problems in Japan, I have to ask myself, "Do I really need more CTs?" The math is fuzzy, as I can't nail down the exposure from one CT. Nuclear workers are supposed to be limited to 50mSv in one year. I'm thinking I've been exposed to at least that amount which is fine...couldn't be avoided.

I asked my oncologist, and he said "I don't know." He'll ask his other colleagues. I don't think I should be aggressively scanning.

I'm just venting. Regardless of what my oncologist says, I think I'll delay my next scan scheduled for summer.

Davepet's picture
Davepet
Posts: 92
Joined: Dec 2009

I read somewhere that a CT gives you about the same amount of radiation as just living on this earth for a year. In other words it's not huge, but not to be taken lightly, either. Thing is, those scans are the only way to catch any recurrence soon enough to be sure it can be treated successfully. The risk of not getting them far outweighs the risk of being scanned for those of us with TC.

I had one CT & 4 PET/CT scans last year & only had one enlarged lymph node.This is entirely normal surveillance for TC post chemo.

Here is the best website to learn about TC:
http://tcrc.acor.org/index.html

Here is a TC forum that is full of guys with experience & knowledge:
http://www.tc-cancer.com/forum/

Please look at both & consider joining the forum. It's a good group of people & a wealth of knowledge.

Dave

tenzil
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2010

Thanks for the links, Dave. I'll definitely give it more thought. I have my next scan scheduled for June, but I was hoping to wait just a couple more months.

Davepet's picture
Davepet
Posts: 92
Joined: Dec 2009

Recurrence is most likely in the first year, & becomes less & less likely as the years progress, that is why they want so many scans at first.

Dave

slapshot_81's picture
slapshot_81
Posts: 20
Joined: Nov 2009

I am almost 15 months out of treament. I am on an alternating 3 month cycle. CT scan/labs - chest x-ray/labs. I had a follow up yesterday from my 4/16 CT scan and all is well. There are 2 lymph nodes that showed up scan - they are down to 7mm!!! no fluid and nothing suspicious looking. Tumor marker are negative.

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