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ct scans, how often

abmb's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: Sep 2009

My husband finished chemo in November, had his first post ct scan in December and was said to be NED, great. We haven't seen his onc since, but are scheduled for 4/13. Lab work will be done, does this mean a CEA blood work also? Do you think he will be scheduled for another Ct scan, if not is it wrong for me to suggest one? I just get really nervous. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for all support in the past. Margaret

TxKayaker's picture
Posts: 177
Joined: Jun 2009

I also finished chemo in November and had a CT scan early December & my onc scheduled me for another CT scan on June 3rd. It seems his thinking is to re scan in 6 months if NED.I would not think it would not be appropriate to ask what his plans where for re testing.

abmb's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: Sep 2009

Thank you so much for taking the time to post. We go on vacation in early May and I guess I just need reassurance that he is still NED before we go. Again, thanks and God Bless.

maglets's picture
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

every surgeon and onc seems to have a different sched...sometimes it is CEA every 3 mos along with CT scan....sometimes CEA every 3 mos and CEA every 6mos No I do not think it wrong of you to discuss it....ask away and you should get an idea of the plan


abmb's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: Sep 2009

Thank you for taking the time to post. It is hard waiting. I was dealing fine for the past 3 months, but now that I know the appointment is coming up I am getting nervous. This board helps so much, my husband doesn't talk about it, and I would never burden him with my concerns. Again, thanks. Margaret

Patteee's picture
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Margaret,
I think it mostly depends on the stage of the cancer. Mine was 3B- and with us "threes" the standard is- CT yearly, I believe for 3 years? CEA every 3 months for the first year, then every 6 months for a year, colonoscopy yearly (if clear then every 3 years). I finished chemo in Jan 09- and was shocked that I would have nothing until a CEA in April, and my jaw hit the floor when he said CT in June and yearly. It is tough coming off an intense 6 months of surgery and chemo and then to be dropped off the face of the earth, like one was cured or something!! :) Over and over again my oncologist would tell me that this was the standard- and every CEA has been fine, colonoscopy last month was fine (now 3 years till the next one) I have a CT in June. I am 22+ months NED and everything is fine. It has taken awhile to really believe I am FINE (and still not sure at times)- those first months off of chemo I really needed the assurance with CT or PET or something that I was indeed FINE. I know it is tough not to be anxious about it or to question if more testing should be done. But really, if the CT was done in Dec and it was FINE- unless his CEA is elevated, chances are they won't do anything else.

abmb's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: Sep 2009

that's exactly how I feel. 8 months of constant dr.'s and tests, & meds and then nothing, it is hard to get use to. I do trust the doc.'s, but it is still hard to believe that everything is good. It is like I am waiting for the other ball to drop. My family has never had any good luck with cancer and I guess that is what makes it so much harder for me to believe that my husband will be free and clear forever. I do pray for everyone here and everyone dealing with this disease. again, thanks for your post. Margaret

dianetavegia's picture
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

I was also Stage III (colon, not rectal) and my first post chemo CT scan is going to be this coming Tuesday........ 7 1/2 months POST chemo and a year after my last CT. I DID have a liver biopsy during my inital surgery and 2 ultrasounds along the way due to gall bladder problems AND a hands on look-see during gall bladder surgery last April. I had a CT prior to surgery and after surgery.

CEA has been every 4 months.

The new guidelines for Stage III COLON cancer is at one year.

Posts: 75
Joined: Sep 2008

Hi Margaret, it's okay to be nervous, that's normal. i was stage 3C diagnosed 3 years ago. i've had a ct scan every 3 months or sooner, probably have had 15 total. the cancer came back twice and was caught early and went back on chemo. i get a cea test every month. i'm glad i got the scans when i did, the onc stayed one step ahead of the cancer. I sometimes worry about the excessive amounts of radiation but i guess it's better to be overly cautious. i'm now stage 4 with lung mets but we will start the next round of chemo next friday. I guess it all depends on the cea test scores and overall health as for as the ct scan schedule. The onc should know how often. God Bless you and your husband and stay strong, Randy

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