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CT Scan every single year for rest of life

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2013

Is a CT Scan neccessary every single year?  A cancerous tumor was removed from my kidney in a partial nephractomy.  My doctor says I need a CT Scan every year to see if it has returned.  I have had a CT scan now every year for 7 years with no sign of recurrence of the cancer.  I'm getting concerned that the radiation from the CT may create cancer where I would not have had it.  After 7 years cancer free, Is there any other type of screening?  Or can I have it done every few years, or is it really necessary every year?  Anything to prevent kidney cancer?

Galrim's picture
Posts: 305
Joined: Apr 2013

Standard control schemes are usually every six month for two years and once a year for another three years. Thats in a NED situation for "standard" RCC.

There is however a number of prognostic factors that can alter the above even when NED. Agressive subtype, necrosis, sarcomatoid, high grades, stage etc. The info you give is not so specific, if you can post your stage grade and RCC type you will get a better answer from someone in here :-)


icemantoo's picture
Posts: 2624
Joined: Jan 2010

I can only speak from my experience. I had a CT for the first 5 years and than Ultrasound for the next 6.



Eims's picture
Posts: 423
Joined: Feb 2013

i have been told i will have a ct after 6 months and then ultrasound every year thereafter.

eims x

foxhd's picture
Posts: 3040
Joined: Oct 2011

I was having scans every 6 weeks for at least 12-15 months. Finally  every 12 weeks now. I feel better about that. You do what you have to do. We're not talking about what 's for supper. We are talking about your life.

rainsandpours's picture
Posts: 136
Joined: Apr 2013

Fox:  to add to your comment... are your CTs with contrast every time?  And do you find them painful? I had a horrible time with the renal protocol that I'm hoping to never have another.  And good news you get a longer reprieve between them!

foxhd's picture
Posts: 3040
Joined: Oct 2011

Yep. All scans are with contrast. Fisrt a liter of oral drink, then IV while in scanner. No discomfort at all except the technologist aren't nearly as good as my infusion nurses when stabbing me with the needle. There is a rush of heat going through me when it is administered. My scrotum heats up like I am sitting naked on an aluminum bleacher after it has been in mid day sun. For just a few seconds. I do get a reduced doseage of contrast because I have only one kidney. My remaining kidney function is excellent with my GFR over 60. I get a scan tomorrow and results next week. So let the scanxiety begin.

dhs1963's picture
Posts: 512
Joined: May 2012

I am getting them every three months for at least 3 years, but my first set of scans at six months were not NED; rather a solitary met in the lung.  At three years, if I am ned, i will have 6 month scans, then eventualy annual scans.  At least that is the plan today.

Another Met, and the rules change.

Fizziwiz's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: May 2013

The plan for me is blood work and Cx every 6 months forever, and a CT alternating between annually and q18 months, forever.  Unless it changes....

Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2803
Joined: Nov 2011

Comparisons are of limited use because we're all so different. 

I'm due to have full TAP CT scans, with contrast, every 12 weeks for the rest of my life.

With modern machines, radiation exposure isn't a serious consideration - the contrast dye  is a much more serious matter than the radiation.

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