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Is it normal, because I'm worried it's not

Posts: 16
Joined: May 2016

I saw my oncologist today and he said we would do a CT after my next treatment.  I was surprised by that and asked him why, I thought I would finish treatment before being re-CT'd.  He said he just wanted to make sure the treatment is working.  It will be my 4th of 6 rounds for SMZL.  Tonight my imagination is going wild with worry.  So I thought I would ask the pros, is this pretty typical with indolent NHL?

Psjeepster's picture
Posts: 63
Joined: Jun 2016

Dad gets a scheduled CT scan every other treatmemt. 

Rocquie's picture
Posts: 857
Joined: Mar 2013

Karen, scans throughout treatments are standard. Your doctor is correct in wanting to make sure the treatment is working. I was amazed after my first scan during treatment to realize how much my lymphoma had shrunk. It was very reassuring. 

Hang in there. . .




Posts: 16
Joined: May 2016

This is all so new and I very much appreciate the reassurance.  Now I am going to enjoy life, and look forward to seeing a better CT scan. 

Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3693
Joined: May 2012


As Rocquie stated, it is routine for the oncologist to do a CT early in chemo to verify progress.  I did six months of r-abvd for indolent HL, and my "verification" CT (to verify that it was working) was done after I believe the 3rd infusion (of 12 scheduled). Your pending scan was most likely scheduled before you even began treatment.  It does not indicate that he suspects issues. 

Indolent lymphomas virtually always respond very well to combination chemo treatments.   You almost certainly will see great progress. 

But understand: depending on where in your treatment schedule your CT happens, the doctor is probably NOT expecting the tumors to be totally gone yet. He is just verifying that everything is on schedule.  After three of 12 treatments, my tumors had shrunk by about 50%, and the onc was delighted. He said that in residency oncologists are told that they want to see before and after CT results that are "Visible from across the room." And mine were.  

Know that IF there are no visible tumors, he will still want to finish remaining treatments, to reduce the probability of relapse years later. It is ill-advised to stop infusions before scheduled in your treatment plan.

Do walk in with confidence, and have a great, relaxing, weekend.



Posts: 16
Joined: May 2016

I am pretty sure that they will see a visible difference because what was once, by medical definition, a massive spleen (termed rediculous, by my surgeon) is now not palpable.  And I can eat more than 4 bites before becoming full because my stomach is no longer compressed so much that it was in the midline of my upper abdomen.  My back no longer hurts because of the extra weight. But all that being said, I want and will complete whatever regimen the onc recommends.  I want to do everything I can to hopefully achieve a L O N G remission.

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