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follow-up tests

Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2008

Thanks to everyone who posted about the port removal. It seems when reading your posts, everyone has had different follow up tests, some have pet scans, some have ct scans, some don't. At one year I had a colonoscopy and a CT scan. I had a Pet before chemo. Every three months I have blood work to check the liver enzymes. The last time I was at the dr. I had a chest and abdomen xray taken. I had colon, 3b, one lymph node involved. I've been wondering what tests are really necessary. Alicia

Posts: 513
Joined: Nov 2007

It is my understanding that colon cancer stage 3B involves more than 3 lymph nodes but no other organs, so I don't understand why you are 3b - not 3a - was something else unusual. I was 3a - and my tests after chemo are - a ct scan every six months and cea levels checked every 3 months. I had a ct scan at the end of chemo and have a colonoscopy every year - for 3 years. If everything is clear I will go to a colonoscopy every three years - the ct scans and cea levels continue for 7 years if I stay ned. Where are you being treated? I am at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston - are you at a major medical center. I am a little thrown by your information.


Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

I had stage 3 rectal -- year one and two -- cat scans and bloodwork every 3 mos with yearly colonoscopy and cat/pet scans, year 3 cat scans every 4 mos, then I think I went to every 6 mos scans until 5 years. My 5 year anniversary of my surgery is next week. I also just had a colonoscopy in Jan, now i can wait 3 years for next one. I will also have a cat scan in a year.


Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I think I had scans every 3 mos for the first year, then every 6 mos for the next year, and so on. I had regular blood tests but I am one of those people whose CEA was never elevated. Chest x-ray included. Colonoscopy every year but if clear then every 3. I have had three recurrences -- all 3 in the lung. All 3 times picked up by CT scan or MRI. And all 3 times they picked up a lesion which was very small and amenable to surgery. So, I'm a big fan of scans! It is possible to use low-dose CT, and MRI involves less (no?) radiation exposure. I think my case was somewhat extreme since we all knew CEA was useless for me. BTW, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 rectal (one positive lymph node).

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