Follow up

catherine58 Member Posts: 92
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I would be interested to know how regularly you have follow up tests in the US (a lot more frequently than we do in the UK, for sure!). I was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer in February 2007 and finished chemotherapy in August. I had a scan in September (all clear!) and am scheduled to have a colonoscopy in February 2008. Thereafter I will have CT scans every September (for the next five years), blood tests every six months and a colonoscopy every three years. I won't have any routine PET scans. I am worried that this is not enough and wonder if I should agitate for more frequent testing (although fear my insurance wouldn't cover the cost). My doctor maintains that in the US the medical profession is over cautious ("because they get paid for it") and that the scans themselves could trigger radiation-induced cancer. Not sure what to think ... survival rates in the States seem to be much higher than they are here. I've been having some gastric symptoms very similar to those I had before my initial diagnosis but my doctor thinks these are very unlikely to be caused by a new tumour and do not warrant a scan.

Any input gratefully received!



  • Faith4Cure
    Faith4Cure Member Posts: 405 Member
    Hi Catherine
    I understand how you must feel. My husband completed his chemotherapy in May. He had a CT scan in May and another in September. Both were clear (Yeah!) He will not have another CT scan until February. He will also have his first colonoscopy since being diagnosed at that time as well. He had a check up last week with only blood work. I question what good that does since his CEA was never elevated in the first place. I was going to push for CT scans more often than every 6 months, but then the media came out with the scare of CT scans causing cancer. Great, just what we need to hear...... I'm not sure what the answer is. I know that with very pain(no matter how small) that my husband has I get scared.

    I don't have any answers for you. Stay informed and push for what you think is best. Try not to worry, and enjoy life now that your treatments are over!

    Keep the faith!

  • Moesimo
    Moesimo Member Posts: 1,072 Member
    I had stage 3 rectal cancer diagnosed in 3/03. For the first 2 years I had cat scans and bloodwork every three months. Year 3 cat scans with blood work every 4 mos. Year 4 and 5 --scans and bloodwork every 6 mos. -- in June it will be 5 years since my original surgery, my scan will be in May. My surgeon has already told me I will then have a scan in a year. I am glad about that because I thought they weren't going to order any after 5 years.

    I havent routinely had pet scans, but when areas of concern showed on my cat scan a pet scan was ordered. I have had 3 or 4 pet scans already.

    I have remained NED---WOOOHOOO!!!!

    I think the benefit of me having cat scans far outweigh the small chance of getting cancer from the scans. It would have been more likely that the cancer would come back than to get cancer from the radiation.

    All of my scans have included chest, abdomen and pelvis.

    For the first 3 years I had yearly colonoscopies, then I went 2 years because I have one scheduled for Feb.