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Is it standard to test after radiation instead of after completion of chemo??

Posts: 26
Joined: Jul 2003

I just finished with chemo. I had adriomycin, taxol and finally cytoxin. I will begin radiation in one week. My doc says he will test in 7 weeks after radiation. Is that standard? I've had many people ask why then and not now. I had a bone scan, abdominal ultrasound and a cardiogram before I started chemo. Everything checked out ok. So does everyone wait for tests until after rads or have your doctors done something different. My doc is also waiting until after rads to start on tamoxifen. Is that standard also. Just curious about what other docs do. Trust my doc, but comments from others kinda make you feel like you're not doing the right thing. Thanks for any help!!

Posts: 232
Joined: May 2003

I had nothing after radiation but a mammogram six months after and blood work every three months. I started tamoxifen right after I finished radiation. That is when my breast swelled and the aches and pains started so not sure if Tamoxifen is for me but have been on it a little over a year and am afraid to quit. Thinking of going with Indole 3C but nothing proven on that. I have gone with mostly alternative medical care. Each of us must decide how we are going to carry on. If you feel more secure with a lot of follow up tests then go that route if you are afraid of what more tests may do to your body you might want to think about other options. Linda

Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2003

My Dr does not believe in testing at all, unless there are symptoms of a problem. So I had all of my chemo , then 7 wks of radiation and then started on Tamoxofen. I think it is pretty standard. Good luck. After what you have been through, the radiation will be a relief!

Posts: 58
Joined: Mar 2003

My doctor had me start on tamoxifen at the same time I started my radiation. I did have an echo done after chemo. I have been done with radiation for almost one year and my doctor just had me get a bone density test since radiation can affect your bones. Good luck with your radiation. God bless...Cheryl

Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2003

I started chemo 1st, then did all of radiation, and finished up with last 2 chemo treatments. Then started tamoxiphen. I have not had any further testing. It has been almost 5 yrs, I go to see my oncologist every 6 mos, and still have mammograms every 6 mos; but that is it. No other kinds of followups.

Posts: 482
Joined: Apr 2003

I had chemo, then started on Arimidex at the same time I started radiation therapy. I was surprised when the oncologist indicated that no further testing would be done with the exception of labs prior to follow-up appts, but after some thought, I was happier to get off of the anxiety merry-go-round than to remain. Regardless of variations in timing or tests or medications, we all navigate uncertainty.

Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2003

Hello...my surgeon says he doesn't support testing unless there are symptoms or I guess if the cancer appeared to be more advanced than what mine was (1.5 cm. and no lymph node involvement). As I understand it, many of the tests are not really reliable in early stage cancer. I had a lumpectomy followed by six weeks of radiation and the doc supported my decision not to start tamoxifen until rads were finished. I think they figure there's too much going on and starting radiation and tamoxifen at the same time might confuse things. Personally had no problems with radiation, but after 10 days on the tamoxifen, I'm having my doubts if I will continue to take it. Good luck!

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