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CT vs x-ray

grannylove
Posts: 183
Joined: Apr 2011

I had my first ct scan follow up of my lobectomy 3 months ago. Looks good. My surgeon is concerned about the ct scans every 3 months that my oncologist has ordered. He would like to just have a chest x-ray and a ct scan no more than twice a year, possibly once a year. (unless something shows up on the x-ray, heaven forbid) He is a lung cancer surgeon and has produced a good argument. He not only takes the written results into consideration but actually downloads the x-ray and compares to past x-rays. Whereas the oncologist just uses the written report of the ct to make a determination. Also, my surgeon feels that the amount of radiation in a ct every 3 months, far exceeds its benefits, at this point. Not sure why my oncologist would order something that could potentially increase my risk. Unless, it is just an easier way to detect reoccurance but not necessarily the best for me. Anyone have thoughts on this? I would love some feedback on what others have experienced. Thanks and stay strong!
Cheryl

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

Hi Cheryl...I think this varies from doctor to doctor and may also depend on how closely the patient needs to be monitored.

Yes, the amount of radiation received from a CT is much greater than from the traditional x-ray but there are so many things an x-ray can miss. In my particular case the CT's were necessary because I was at high risk of a recurrence. If your surgeon, especially being a lung cancer surgeon, feels that once a year would be sufficient then maybe that is the way for you to go. I'm sorry, I don't remember your exact story, but I'm assuming they removed the tumor/lobe. If that's the case then you probably have less to worry about.

Your surgeon seems to be on top of everything and I like the fact that he also compares the scans and doesn't rely on the findings of others who read the scans. All of my doctors compare my scans also and usually show them to me and explain the difference.

It sounds like you are in good hands so the decision is yours, if you feel comfortable having only one scan per year then go for it. If not then discuss with your surgeon the possibility of having them every 6 months and then move them to once a year when you are comfortable.

Stay strong,
Glenna

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