Scans after Radiation and Chemo

Tamt Member Posts: 3 *
edited November 2023 in Anal Cancer #1

Hi everyone I’m new here and I’m just looking for a bit of clarification my current experiences with Anal cancer treatment stage 2.

I finished my last radiation treatment 4 months ago, had a scope done by the surgeon and he claimed tumour was gone “just a scar” this was excellent news. And he doesn’t want to see me for a year.

Oncologist has ordered CT scan and PET scan anyway even after this news (internally I was freaking out)

CT showed some residual small mass that could be scar tissue as I had two surgeries, 2 infections and 30 radiation treatments in that area as well my original tumour was very large.

PET is tomorrow and I’m now on this roller coaster because surgeon told me to go home and celebrate but these scans have me panicking and I thought I was currently ok.

any insight would be great, I understand these are routine scans but how often does scar tissue show up in the treated area? My assumption is quite often but I’m not a physician. Thank you in advance.


  • b3strong
    b3strong Member Posts: 4 Member

    Hi. I'm a stage 3 anal cancer survivor in the US. I'm not sure where you are but if you're in the US you can access the NCCN anal cancer treatment guidelines that (to me) are the authoritative source for doctors to follow in treating anal cancer. The link is Guidelines Detail ( to access the treatment guidelines. I've snipped a bit from them in the image below (if it shows up). At 4 months out of treatment like yourself, the guidelines state that exam and DRE is recommended. I got a DRE every 6 months for 5 years and my first post-treatment CT scan was about 5 months after treatment end. I got a CT scan annually until year 5. I've heard that a PET scan within the first 6mo-12mo after treatment could easily show uptake from the treatment. Though I hate subjecting myself to radiation, I did look forward to a PET scan one year after treatment as I trust PET scans to show any metastasis. This PET was ordered by my oncologist, but it isn't in the guidelines. I hope this info helps you. And, congratulations for making it through treatment!

  • Tamt
    Tamt Member Posts: 3 *

    Hi I’m in Canada, thank you for your reply.

  • AnnieRB
    AnnieRB Member Posts: 9 Member

    Hello. I just finished my anal cancer treatments Nov 1 for stage 2 cancer. My first follow up was earlier this week, though I'm still recovering. My surgeon said he prefers to go in with a scope instead of a CT or PET scan because after radiation the tumor area will give a false positive due to the radiation. My oncologist recommended a CT/PET scan too, and the surgeon said they really like those tests but after radiation the odds of a false positive are very high, which is why he prefers to go in with a scope. This sounds similar to your case. Ask lots of questions and be your own advocate.

  • Rebar
    Rebar Member Posts: 24 Member