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How many years for pet/ct scans?

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2011

I am now 5 years post anal cancer treatment...everything is fine...feel great. Have had annual Pet scans and now my Dr. wans me to get another. It is hard to find Info on this subject. Anyone know how many years we have to get these scans?...Do we ever stop them?

mp327's picture
Posts: 3412
Joined: Jan 2010

First of all, let me congratulate you on being 5 years post-treatment! I'm so very glad to hear you are doing well. I am one month away from my 3-year post-treatment date.

As for follow-up PET scans, all I can tell you is what is stated in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network's guidelines for anal cancer follow-up. It states that DRE, anoscopy and inguinal node palpation should be done every 3-6 months for 5 years. Chest/abdomen/pelvic imaging is recommended annually for 3 years.

So, the way I'm reading this is that scans are no longer indicated after the 3-year mark. That being said, I know my medical oncologist is big on follow-up PET scans--I've had 8 since completing treatment in September 2008. However, I don't believe that is the norm. I just had another scan last week (which was clean), but it was a CT, due to denial by my ins. co. for another PET. I will be seeing my med onc on Wednesday and will find out at that time what the plan is for any future scans. I hope to at least be on a once a year schedule for a CT for the next 2 years.

You did not state what stage you were, so perhaps this has something to do with your doctor's wish to get you scanned again? As ins. co's get more resistent to pay for PET scans, I think all of us will be getting fewer of those in the future.

I wish you all the very best and if you have another scan, may it come back clean and clear!

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2011

Thanks for responding....sounds like you are doing great...keep it up!

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