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Timing of first scan post tx

donfoo's picture
Posts: 1644
Joined: Dec 2012

The MO put the order for a PET and it was approved quickly as I got a call to schedule the scan. I am just 7 weeks post of chemo-rads and want to ensure sufficient time has transpired before getting the scan. Does about 10 weeks seem about right to let the rads cool off and things to be stable enough that a scan will offer solid results?

sin9775's picture
Posts: 199
Joined: May 2013

I had asked the same question a while ago.  All I know is, my brother was told that his first scan will be in 3-4 months.  While I think 4 months is a long time to wait, 7 weeks does seem quick.  Maybe because you are doing so well, your throat looks better than most.?  Did you ask?  I suppose it comes down to trusting your doctor.


hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

You're testing my memory...I think I had a CT w/contrast 12 weeks post and 3 mos. after that a PET followed by CT every 3 mos. first year and have now moved to every 4 months. I was told by ONC no more PETs w/o reason.

Posts: 757
Joined: Apr 2012

When my husband completed his first round of radiation and chemo they only waited 7 weeks to do a PET/CT scan.  Well according to our H&N specialist that was too soon because of swelling and other side effects of the radiation.  He was right because when he started having troubles 2 months later, we found out that the swelling hid the tumor and we were told he was NED.  After his second round of radiation they waited 3 months to do a PET/CT scan.  First set of radiation and chemo done by a different group of doctors, second set done by a H&N specialist, which the first group weren't.


fishmanpa's picture
Posts: 1216
Joined: Jan 2013

The order went in and I'm waiting to hear from JH about my 1st PET. It'll end up being close to 4 months post. I've had 2 scopes and will get another August 6th. They want to make sure I'm healed enough.


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Usually anywhere between 2 - 4 months is the norm on here... A few sooner, a couple further out. Probably a higher percentage of clean scans in the 3 - 4 month range.

But I've seen clean ones in the short range, and ones with residual further out.

Usually most that have shown resdiual on the first scans clear up on the next or few...

Mine was probably in the 3 month range..., clean for me...

Hopefully yours will be clean too, and all the conversation for nothing...



phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4672
Joined: Mar 2012

finishing treatment on Aug 28th...so it was 3 months out.  3 months seems to be the average time since I've been here, but John has been here far longer to get a better feel for the averages.  At 10 weeks, you're only 2 weeks short of the 12....so that might be ok....and maybe they expect to see some light in the scans when they do them a little early?  The main reason I was glad mine waited the 12 weeks was because I didn't want to ponder on anything afterwards...like "well there was a bright spot, but we're pretty sure it's just effects from radiation".....


donfoo's picture
Posts: 1644
Joined: Dec 2012

Thanks for the feedback. It is a tradeoff between more reliable, less false positives vs getting an answer now! lol

The response to treatment was quite dramatic and as reported "near or complete response" and not having any indication of recurrence after recent visit with MO and RO and my own senses, I feel pretty darn comfortable that there is no raging recurrence within that necessitates an earlier scan.

Not trying to be overly confident but expecting 99.5% that this first scan is going to be clear as are most for nearly all here that show no signs of recurrence. It is the scans 12-24 months out that generate far more anxiety, sorry to those who fall in that zone; I'll be there soon myself.

10-12 weeks seems to be feel about the right balance.



Posts: 57
Joined: Oct 2012

and my lungs were all lit up. It was inflamation. I had a 2nd one done 2 mo after that and it was fine.


debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

praise GOD!!  so glad it was only inflamation!  what a terrible scare that must have been.  glad that is behind u.


MICH4EL's picture
Posts: 73
Joined: Mar 2013

I finished my rads in June.  My scan is scheduled for 3 months after my last rad.  

CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4300
Joined: May 2012


12 weeks post for my PET/CT  (when I quit smoking out my ears).

Here’s to a 100% clean scan.


Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1508
Joined: Nov 2011

No doctor here, but  7 weeks out to me seems a bit early.  Mine was 8 weeks post and I got a little hot spot uptick in the vocals, turned out to be radiation residual, but all else looked good. The thing I'm wondering is insurance comps don't dole out those PETS to easily, usually one CT's after the post, so maybe you can ask to back up the PET 3 weeks to get a better comfort zone. 

As a post cancer survivor you (and I would imagine others on here get what I'm saying) know how that little voice is always saying negative stuff in our ears ....so just a thought to back it up 3-4 weeks, maybe prevent getting a bad read due to still being hot with rads??


Either way, whispered a prayer you meet MR. Ned!!



robswife87's picture
Posts: 208
Joined: Mar 2013

Robs is scheuled 13 weeks out. Sept 16 is our day. He has scan first thing in morning then appts with ENT, MO and RO after.

Our RO says he will have prelim results when we meet him.

Good luck Don

cureitall66's picture
Posts: 911
Joined: Aug 2012

It was three months after tx here..

Duggie88's picture
Posts: 703
Joined: Feb 2010

They did my first about 3 months out. I was still glowing from the radiation and from ear to ear with the NED news. I expect the same from you.


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