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Scans After Initial Chemo/Radiation

Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2018

I was wondering if anyone could give me an idea of when scans and what scans are done after inital chemo/radiation treatment.

My husband has Stage 4 rectal cancer and has gone through 5 and a half weeks of combination chemo pills and radiation.  Next is surgery but I wanted to know when/if any scans are done from now to the surgery.

If anyone has any info on this, I would appreciate it.  I have been waiting for the oncologist's office to get back to me for a week to answer this question.

abita's picture
Posts: 1070
Joined: Dec 2017

I imagine every surgeon is different. I had 4 rounds of chemo before my liver. I had a pet scan and a ct scan. My liver lesions were large so the scans helped plan the surgery and was to see if there was any spread that we didn't know about.

Tunadog's picture
Posts: 235
Joined: Mar 2017

I also had radiation and chemo to shrink the tumor before surgery.

Then they will know more.


Good Luck 

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5511
Joined: Jan 2013

It is true, each Oncologist has a different approach to treatments and such.

My Oncologist wanted no scans or CEA bloodwork until I was completely done with treatment. I had my first scan a month out of treatment. 

Keep calling the Oncologist nurses to get your answer. 


airborne72's picture
Posts: 282
Joined: Sep 2012


My treatment consisted of 5 1/2 weeks of radiation and chemo (Xeloda pills) simultaneously.  That began in early July and finished in mid August.  Then in mid September I had a CT scan.  In mid October I had my surgery (resection).

As others have said, all cases are different and unique.  Plus, ask your oncologist and if he/she is slow to respond then be persistent.

I wish you both luck in this journey.  Review the previous posts included in this forum, especially those concerning caregivers for a spouse who has been diagnosed stage IV.


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

The schedule of treatments, followup, scans, etc is really up to the doctor.  Diagnosed in November and My treatment (rad/chemo) started in January, surgery in March, more chemo started in May and ended in September and then a scan the end of October.  My staging was different than your's also, but each doctor wants to do it according to the individual and a pattern they think best.  Wishing you well.


Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2018

This is just what I was looking for.  We are just trying to get an idea of what to expect as far as scans.

We are a little frustrated with the oncologist's office as this seems to be the pattern when you need something.  We are considering a different doctor, but who knows, it may be the same :)

Thanks everyone for responding!

Mikenh's picture
Posts: 779
Joined: Oct 2017

My surgeon requested an MRI after chemo and radiation and before surgery. I'm Stage 3B.

Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2018

How soon after you completed the chemo and radiation did you have the MRI?

SandiaBuddy's picture
Posts: 1189
Joined: Apr 2017

I had my first scan, a CT scan, about three months after wrapping up chemo.

Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

I can't speak directly to this, because my tumor was sigmoid rather than rectal, as I gather your's is based upon treatment.  However, rather than waiting for your onc to return a call where the message may have been relayed through someone who didn't really understand the question, you should probably make an appt.  With my onc any active treatment, non-emergency  patient could get an appt in a couple of days, and that was a much better way to get info.


Take care,


Posts: 16
Joined: Mar 2018

 had her first scan six weeks after starting chemo which was much earlier than the other doctors we met with suggested they would do

st iv - mets to liver - left side wild kras




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