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Dr. Joe......need your opinion


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I was told at follow up after my treatment that chest xrays were only done like once a year.

Seems to me that if I have a 30% chance of being cancer free in 3 1/2 years that x-ray or CT Scans should be done every 3 months (at least). Makes sense to catch it when it's small then large. Mine started off at 1.3 cm and lymph nodes were involved, what could have happened if the tumor was larger? Seems things could have been worse.

My Doc said something about not being exposed to the radiation, etc and that studies showed more frequent screens didn;t help.

Exposer to additional radiation.....I've already been fried! What's an xray or CT at this point?!

What do you advise your Stage 3A patients?

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There is no definite rule for how frequently to do scans/xrays after a lung cancer diagnosis. I agree that the radiation concern in the big picture is kind of bogus. I generally do CT scans every 3 months for the first 2 years in my high risk patients then every 6 months to year 5 then annually thereafter. In low risk patients, I alternate CT and chest xray every 3 months for 2 years then every 6 months to year 5 then CT scan annually for life. I can't say that is right or wrong but it feels right to me.

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I went and saw my Internest today (he's the one who initially started the porcess and found the cancer), he thought that things sound a little off about the follow up scans. He has referred me to another Oncologist that he thinks I will like. He also confessed that this was the Onc he had wanted me to see initially. My Onco was referred by my surgeon.

Thank you for your continued advise/support!!!!

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A new Onc seems like a good choice. I'm certainly glad I am having CT scans every 3 mo. On Aug. 3rd there was a tiny little "something" that my Onc. said we should watch. It was about 5 mm. On Nov. 1st it was 1.8 x .08 cm. You gotta wonder how big it would have been if I had waited a year. Well, probably big enough to see on a CXR. I won't bore you with the rest of the details. You can read them in the Test Results section. Anyway, again I want to stress how important I think more frequent testing is.

Muriel K

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You know what Dr. Joe.........if I like this new guy, I might ask him if he wants to try another Taxotere treatment if he can keep my immune system up and really help me deal with the severe pain I had. Seems to me if he just pays attention to me through the treatment and monitors me daily for those 10 days and controls the pain that TOGETHER we might be able to get more in me!

I don't think it's asking too much for us to work together as a team to control the side affects, even if it means checking in daily to make sure the pain is manageable, only takes 10 minutes to say how's the pain and adjust meds as necessary. We could also start the "throat yeast infection meds" so I don't get that durring the treatment like the previous time.

I am trying and am not totally unreasonable! I still say the surgery was far easier then the treatment!!

Thanks again!

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