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Scans at another facility?

Posts: 51
Joined: Sep 2010

I live in a small town and have recently moved some of my care to a large medical center several hours away. Its time for new scans to see if the current drug is working. Are scans pretty equal everywhere? Is it ever advisiable to have scans done/read in a different medicial facility?

The new drug I am on was prescribed by my large city oncologist, but I still see my small town oncologist.

CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

It used to be that it was best to have all scans in the same facility for comparison. However, with computer imaging, I think it doesn't matter as much. Many facilities aren't even having staff read the scans anymore--sometimes they are even outsourced and read by a physician in another country.

Some facilities have newer and better equipment and you would hope that would be the case in the larger facility. Having said that, my PET scan in Slidell, LA was comparable to my fancy dancy MD Anderson scan ;-).

Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

Talk about out sourcing...Good heavens! I can't believe that scans are read by doctors in other countries! No thanks! What's next? Okay, I can take talking to "Joe" in India when I've had computer problems with Time Warner but reading scans?????? I know mine are read not only by the radiologists at my cancer center but my MO as well...he's always pulled them up on the computer and showed them to us...And with today's technology you can get your scan on a cd....this truly shocks me and I'm sure it will to others as well...Yikes....it's gonna take me a minute to get over this one....lol..... I think this info needs to be known to all of us! And questioned....is their education as good.

We can always count on you CC to keep us updated....I'm gonna bring this up my next appt in 2 weeks....
Hugs, Nancy...

CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

Nancy, I was totally shocked about 7 years ago when I asked a radiologist if I could bring an xray to him to discuss and he told me that he was in India! I am not joking. And that was before I had the digital image on my computer to compare. It was an interesting conversation, but, I have to admit, he seemed like a really smart cookie. Lol!

SIROD's picture
Posts: 2199
Joined: Jun 2010


Wouldn't the radiologist in India or any other country have the education to qualify them to read these scans?


TraciInLA's picture
Posts: 1994
Joined: Jul 2009

I'm about 2 1/2 years out from treatment, down to only annual mammograms now, and still get major anxiety over them.

Since my mammograms are always ordered as "diagnostic mammograms" (not regular "screening mammmograms"), at my mammography center, I wait afterwards, and the radiologist himself always comes out to give me the good news. Thankfully, they understand how much I need the reassurance: He always says, "I read the films, and they look good," and even sometimes, "Dr. X is here today too, and we both read them."

Even though a doctor thousands of miles away might have qualifications just as good as my local radiologist's, I would never have the same peace of mind if I couldn't see his face and hear his voice. And how would I be able to hug and cry all over him -- which I always do?


Noel's picture
Posts: 3100
Joined: Apr 2009

I always get the cd of all of my tests. That way if I were to go to another facility, I would always have them and I think it's just good to keep a copy for your own records, as, some facilities only keep them for so many years.

SIROD's picture
Posts: 2199
Joined: Jun 2010

H Shirleyi,

I usually use the local facility for my scans for my convenience. At times, I also use the larger medical center where I see my oncologist. Either place, can look at my scans no matter where they are done to compare the previous one with the newer one.

My son had a scan done in the middle of the night (kidney stone) at our local hospital. There wasn't any radiologist to read the results. They were read elsewhere and conveyed to the doctor that was seeing him.

I usually take a CD of the scan when I want a second opinion, be it in state or out of state. It is quicker for them to look at it that way.

Good luck and hope the new drug is working for you.



Posts: 3644
Joined: Aug 2009

I live in a relatively small town (approx. 69,000 pop.) but it is the biggest in over 300 miles. None of my tests/scans have been done at the Cancer Center. Early on they were all done at a local Radiology Center, there was a CT between Taxol and rads done at the local hospital (CCI building is attached to hospital) and the ones since end of TX have all been at Ft. Meade (local VA facility in SD, not Virginia) with the exception of mammos which are still being outsourced to the local Radiologist. (Last one Aug 13 - clear.)

So far as I can tell, all my outsourced scan/tests have been read by local Drs and my VA scans/tests have been read by either Drs at Ft. Meade or by Drs within the VA system within the States. It would be very scary to think they had been sent to 'clearing house' in some other country.

Just as a second (or third, fourth, more) opinion on DX or TX can be in order sometimes, I would think the same holds true with the reading of tests/scans if there seems to be any question.

Winyan - The Power Within


Posts: 191
Joined: Jun 2012

However, I use to have my mammos done at a certain imaging company for years. 2 1/2 years ago I got called back for another mammo. They said it was normal. Then last year I changed GYN and she sent me to another imaging company. This one called me back and did an ultrasound as well and found the cancer. My BS said my tumor was probably there for 3 years. My onco said he doesn't recommend the first company and it's possible they probably missed my cancer. He said my current company is very good. So, I don't know about scans, but imaging companies for mammos are not the same.


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