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Questions about my father's CT scan report

Rosesoph
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2005

My father has been off chemo for Stage 3 colon cancer for 1 year. All his CT scans have been normal. His last CT scan done on 3/13/07. Even the oncologist's nurse called and said this CT scan was "fine." But when he received a copy of the CT scan report it revealed the following impression from radiologist (got me a little worried):

"Stable CT scan of chest: Right paratracheal lymph node at aortic arch meas 9mm (no change)"

CT of abdomen & pelvis:
Retroperitoneal lymph node anterior to the abdominal aorta is at upper limits of normal.
Size measures 9mm. This is mildly increased in size compared to 2 prior exams when this
was 5-6mm. Attention to this lymph node recommended at followup."

My questions are:

1) Is radiologist talking about the same lymph node since he mentions aortic arch on both impressions of chest and abdomen/pelvis ? He indicates no change on the chest impression but yet states it should be watched closely on the abdomen/pelvis impression.

2) My father has an appointment with his oncologist this Tuesday. What questions should he ask about this ? Also, there was 6 months between this CT scan and his last one. Should he be having CT scans sooner than 6 months ? (ie: every 3-4 months) ? Thanks ahead of time for any advice anyone can offer.

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

One question you could ask...."Was the lymph node always this way, even from the beginning before treatment?"
I had a lymph node that was described as "interested"....NOT "interesting"....after all was said and done, I still have 3 cysts on my liver that they are 'watching', even after a close look during surgery.
The radiologist is, thankfully, being thorough. Have his onc explain this report to you...you have that right....

Hugs, Kathi

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1254
Joined: Jul 2005

I would ask your oncologist exactly what this may mean (like Kathy, I would also ask if this is really a change).

Also, is this the same radiologist (not same clinic, but same doc?) who looked at your previous scans? Because I have learned that radiologists are an odd bunch and while some only comment to say things are negative, others choose to comment on what is left (cuz they feel they need to say something.)

I completely understand your concern, but when discussing with your father's onc, find out if this report is from the same doc. In my case, the same doc reads my scans, but I have limited experience with an alternate doc reading scans and for several days I was in quite a tizzy over what turned out to be nothing.

Take care,
Betsy

AveriRN's picture
AveriRN
Posts: 61
Joined: Aug 2004

Hi, I agree with Betsy in relation to who reads the scans. I, too, have had several scans "overread" and have seen some comment on something and others not even mention it. It may be that. I would like to say that the radiologist in this particular scan I believe ARE talking about 2 different lymph nodes. One apparently being upper chest area around the 'Aortic Arch' the other being in abdomen around the 'Abdominal Aorta'. With that being said, I have had a lymph node in the abdominal aorta area as well that has fluctuated from 7-9mm depending on which scan. My oncs mention it sometimes, and sometimes don't but when they do they don't seemed concerned about it. I have wondered myself if it is different b/c diff radiologist are reading scan. Hope this helps. Prayers for a confirming "fine" from the onc on Tues.

Averi

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