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Scans at check up

onlytoday's picture
onlytoday
Posts: 610
Joined: Jun 2010

Just wondering what your onc does.

I have a new one since we moved.

He sees me annually for a cbc only.

No scans.

He uses blood work and exam...which is pretty fast and incomplete.

 

Im not used to this. Anyone else followed up  with this way?

In remission since 2012. Nodes wax and wane...

ShadyGuy
Posts: 709
Joined: Jan 2017

having too many scans is a health risk. I can only state that my NHL is "quiet" but still visible on scans.  I have two docs and both recommend annual CT scans. Its choosing the lesser of two evils - to scan with slightly increased risk of secondary cancers or to not scan and hope any increased activity can be detected quickly by other means. The only palpable node I have ever had was on my shoulder blade. All the real nasty stuff was deep in my chest where only a CT scan can see it. I am having the annual scans as recommended with physical exams and lab work every 4 months. Next scan is in November. If you trust your doctor take his/her advice.

Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3699
Joined: May 2012

only,

After 5 years NED, I was put in a 'Lifetime Followship' program.   I see an oncology NP one a year, after a blood draw the week before which is a CBC, Metabolic Profile, and LDH.  During visit, she asks the usual questions and does a  brief exam.  Last year she heard rales in my lungs. A CT followed, large nodes everywhere, benign, and an odd-ball condition known as PTGC.   I started with a Hematologist/Med Onc at that point.   The condition has NO protocols, NO prognosis, so the doc and I are making active survellance up as we go.  She is seeing me once each 6 mo now, with no additional scans.  Same blood panels as with the NP.

I have never found touch exams of any worth, as my NLPHL node was golf ball sized, but could not be felt by any doctor, even just before surgical removal.  The PTGC node was immediately at the surface, but could not be felt even by the surgeon in pre-op.   It was tennis-ball sized:  6.5 CM.  So, when a doc says "I don't feel anything," it is not highly comforting to me.  But, I am OK in this holding pattern.   Not really much else we can do.  Doctors are hired because their patient trusts their judgement, and I trust her.

In th old days, after about two years of CR, patients never saw an oncologist again, unless their was Blatant relapse.  Plus, almost everyone describes a visit to a cancer clinic as analogous to a chicken in a food processing plant:  Stop BRIEFLY at one station, and then shuffled to the next.

po18guy's picture
po18guy
Posts: 1222
Joined: Nov 2011

If you are asymptomatic, that may be all you need. Best to avoid the ionizing radiation of scans if you can. I have to guess that the MDS in my marrow was at least paritally caused by the 40+ head-to-pelvis CT scans and (guesstimating) dozen or more PET scans. We will never know, but MDS is a fairly common secondary cancer - but is also associated with aging. You could always consult with, say, a research hematologist for an opinion on surveillance.

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