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radiation set up

LaCh
Posts: 520
Joined: Dec 2012

Anyone have their setup for radiation utilizing another CT scan?

AZANNIE
Posts: 390
Joined: Mar 2011

I did. It was called simulation. It was when I got my tattooes. They were lining things up to know where the zaps should go.

Ann

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mp327
Posts: 3017
Joined: Jan 2010

That is the term used for this and I believe it's standard protocol. I also got my tattoos at that time.

LaCh
Posts: 520
Joined: Dec 2012

are the tattoos just dots or what? As for the CT scan... I guess it's necessary but it seems to me that in short time I'm going to exceed my recommended daily (yearly) allowance of radiation by the FDA if you know what I mean. (The radiologist told me that he's allowed 5 Rads every year and also told me that CTs have about 1 Rad each and a PET has two Rads.) So two CTs and a PET scan in one week ... I dunno. Why is this ok? (It's a rhetorical queston. I don't think it is ok, but that's just my opinion and I know that most doctors and many people would disagree with me. But it's only my opinion. And, of course, there's no way to proceed without it.)

So what about those tattoos?

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3017
Joined: Jan 2010

The tattoos are tiny dots, used by the techs to line you up on the machine correctly each time and are necessary. Also necessary are the preliminary scans. While I understand your concerns about radiation, unfortunately, radiation is the one thing that will get rid of your cancer, with the help of chemo, which makes the cancer cells more susceptible to the radiation. I've had so much radiation, I'm surprised I don't glow in the dark. But you know what? I'm still here and alive and well. When you consider the alternative, you really don't have a choice. Under normal circumstances in a perfectly healthy person, those two scans in one week would not be necessary. However, when you have cancer, it's a whole different ballgame. Your doctors need the information provided by those scans in order to treat you appropriately and effectively.

eihtak
Posts: 868
Joined: Oct 2011

I also worried about the excess radiation, but as Martha said, when treating cancer we really have to do whats necessary. The hope would be that although you will exceed the recommended amount for now, you won't in years to come. There are people that live or work near radioactve areas and are exposed to more than the average on a daily basis, not saying thats good, but just the way it is. I have had so much dental work starting at a young age, then being treated for two primary cancers, I'm sure I'm at risk for related problems. I do now question the need for scans a little, and just last friday my doc combined my chest and pelvic CT, so although the dates are off a little its one less scan. Something to be concerned about, but as you said, have to proceed! Good luck, thinking of you.

LaCh
Posts: 520
Joined: Dec 2012

Thanks for your comments eitak. I enter into the vortex of western medicine with a longstanding distrust and dislike of it, it's practitioners and the for-profit system of health care that we have in this country. I learned from the radiologist last week that he can receive a maximum of 5 Rads a year, and if he exceeds that amount, it poses a threat to his health and he'd have to remove himself from his practice for a period of time. Then I learned that so far, with last week's CT and PET, I've received 3 Rads (in one week) and found out yesterday, that not only am I due for another CT on Wednesday, but that my pelvic and inguinal lymph nodes will be irradiated even though they didn't show up positive on the CT and PET scans. The explanation for that makes sense; those scans don't show anything smaller than 6mm. So then why was I given not one but two radioactive tests that show only an incomplete picture and that ultimately, have no bearing on what's going to be irradiated (these are rhetorical questions, although I'll put them to the gastroenterologist, someone I like and trust). If the rationale is that there can be microscopic metastasis in the lymph nodes, then why not irradiate every organ in my body? There can be microscopic metastasis there too. It doesn't make sense. Were the CT AND PET scans medically indicated? Why were they medically indicated? I'm getting pretty disgusted with the whole lot of these guys and nothing's even begun yet. I start the chemo and radiation on the 17th. Don't get me wrong; there will be tests and therapies that carry risk, and pretty much EVERYTHING related to this has a risk/benefit ratio. I'm willing to weigh the risks and benefits and expose myself to dangers in order to get a cure. IF they're necessary. I'm not sure that the two CTs and PET scans all are, and especialy in light of the fact that what they show has no bearing on the treatment. Please excuse me; I'm feeling tired and disgusted. I just want some straight answers from people who I don't expect will give me any.

mxperry220
Posts: 365
Joined: Mar 2011

Radiation doctors are potentially exposed to radaiation continuously with the number of patients they treat daily unlike we patients. Perhaps he meant if he continuously received the maximum of 5 Rad whatever that is he would have to remove himself. I would suggest if you have a question like this to ask him about it directly. It is important that you trust your medical team as they are the experts. I like you was apprehensive in the beginning as I am somewhat of a "control freak" and then realized this treattment process was out of my hands. I had one CT scan, one PET scan and a MRI before my 30 rounds of radiation and 2 weeks of chemo began. I am 3 years 11 months post treatment and so far am cancer free. Also I might suggest you prepare a list of questions you have and have someone with you to write down the answers. I did this and it helped me in the beginning. Hope this helps some.
Mike

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