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How often do you as the "nonpatient" get a chest x


Andrea

How often do you, as caregiver/family member (not patient) get a routine chest xray?  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. How often do you, as caregiver/family member (not patient) get a routine chest xray?

    • A. Never
      19
    • B. Every year
      6
    • C. Every 2 years
      0


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Hi. I was wondering how often you all get routine chest xrays for screening.

It came up today b/c I found out where I get my neurosis from--my dad!! I was in the pulmonologist office today for my mom and my dad noticed my cough (it started Sunday). My internist is in that building and my dad decided to go make me an appt for tomorrow and wants me to ask the internist to send me for a chest xray.

I realize how insane I will sound tomorrow--"Hi, I am 32, non smoker, I have had a dry cough since Sunday and my chest hurts a little, please send me for a chest xray".......but then I realized it has been 2 years and I meant to get one at least every 2 years anyway :) Better to be safe than sorry.

Just curious how often you all go :)

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Andrea,

If you can get the chest x-ray, do so. My cancer was "caught" because of a dry cough. I had the cough for three weeks before all hell began to break loose.

BUT, since you ARE trying to get pregnant, make sure you aren't before getting that x-ray, k?

So you're neurotic..so what? You're also far more aware of lung cancer than the average bear, BooBoo...

Take care,

Becky

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I wish I were pregnant :) I haven't even had a shot yet!! Maybe next month I'll have a possible chance :)

I will see what the dr says. Realistically the odds are low of it being cancer, but being so involved with this website and knowing the dangers can kind of skew your view and really make you seem crazy at the physician's office ;)

Of course if everyone who coughed had a chestxray as my husband argues, hmmmm :)

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I never had one until my dad was dx. Now I've had three.

I get one every year with my physical, Once when I had a severe bronchitis. My dr. writes down "dry cough" or "persistent cough" so that insurance pays for it every time..

It's really simple. My dr. knows all about my dad. I just tell all medical professionals that now lung cancer runs in my family...and if I'm to get it, it is your job to catch it early. (I leave the smoking history thing out of it, because obviously, from our experience here, you don't have to be a smoker to get dx. with lung cancer.)

Andrea, it's always a good idea to get one if you can....

(((CATHY)))>>>> please go get a physical. (I care about you and you need to take care of yourself!!)

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I, unfortunately or fortunately, have chest x-rays 4-5 times a year. The docs are still trying to figure out my coughing problems but I have encouraged all of my friends to get them at least yearly but I'm not sure if they do :(

Let us know what you find out today.

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I agree with Katie, Cathy please go. I understand your fear, believe me. I get nervous and cranky around my yearly, but it is so important to prevent anything serious. Think about it, ok? And PM if me you want to talk about paranoia, i know it well ;)

I am back from the Dr who thinks I am nuts. He thinks I have bronchitis. I asked if he heard it in my lungs or if he just thinks it. I asked that twice, never got a straight answer. I said that's nice if itis bronchitis, but chest xray please. He said he is sure I am fine. I said that's nice, chest xray please, my mom has lung cancer and I know plenty of people in their 30s with lung cancer who never smoked from my website. He said that I am only looking at a small sample of the entire population. I said that's nice, chest xray please :) So he wrote the script for a chest xray and I went across the street and got it done. I then asked when I can expect a call, he said next week, or if there is something they call him right away. I said I expect you will call me. He said it depends, if it is just a small pnemonia no call bc I am giving you antibiotics. I said "Isn't it true that you cannot distinguish a pnemonia from a cancer on a chest xray?". He said sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. I could tell he was trying not to laugh, but I got my chest xray :) He also said sometimes a little knowledge can be a bad thing. I DID admit FULLY that I know I sounded crazy :)

He also talked about how you dont want too many xrays b/c that increaes your risk of cancer. I said actually there are studies now that that is not really true and I just heard someone speak at Cedars and the FDA considers for people working in the medical field radiation the equivlanet of at least 10 xrays a year (I think that was the #, i could not remember exactly) and that studies are underway and in the next few years everyone may be getting chest ct scans along with their yearly mamograms.

Even the tech looked at me wierd, but oh well ;) Better to be safe and not regret it thinking back "Darn, I should havepushed" :)

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Andrea--

I have had two x-rays in my life: 1) When I had a bout of pneumonia that kept me out of school for two months in high school and 2) This past spring when a student of mine had active TB (and I had been in bed with step throat that led to coughing up a lung and being dx'd over the phone as having bronchitis or pneumonia and given some very heavy duty antibiotics for two weeks). Mention prolonged exposure to active, untreated TB and you'll get an x-ray, stat!

I never thought that an x-ray was standard, unless you fall into a particular category where the benefits may outweigh the risks. (After all, repeated x-rays run the risk of damaging your DNA--thus, the "are you SURE you are not pregnant" question).

I'm pretty darn sure that none of us (my parents, sibling; his parents, siblings) have ever gotten an x-ray as part of a routine check-up.

His mom's cancer was not dx'd despite repeated visits to various doctors for months with a persistant dry-cough for MONTHS because she did not get an x-ray until she was hospitalized for pneumonia (which she did not have) and was not responding to the treatment.

Do doctors only give smokers x-rays? If I recall the data from Elaine's earlier poll--that didn't seem to be the case, either.

Melinda

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Melinda,

I think it just depends on the doctor. From what I am learning, most doctors don't do it routinely. However the doctor we had in NY did do chest xrays on my parents annually routinely. I am not sure if it was b/c they were former smokers or not.

I think this is an issue that the medical community debates about.

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No. Unfortunately, here it is not routine to have x-rays with a yearly either. My Dr. only gave chest x-rays for coughs that lasted longer than two weeks, chest area symptoms that did not go away or if there was ever an occasion with one of his patients that he thought had an obstruction. (this is in regards to otherwise "healthy" patients.)

But, since my dad's dx. and my pushiness and the fact that I repeated to him more than once that there are NO early detection testing to find LC, that I would need yearly chest x-rays, he's been very agreeable.

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I would say about 8 years ago I went to the ER with such severe stomach pain. The dr said I was nuts, go home. My dad said that he knew his daugther, and mental would not be causing me such pain. My dad wanted a CT scan. The dr said no. My dad said "I want to see you document in her chart right now that the patient says she is experiencing severe pain, clearly is in distress, and that because you want to keep costs down you are refusing to do a sipmle ct scan". Two seconds later I had my CT.

It was a kidney stone.

So now I learned that if in my gut I really want a test, I say "please document that you refused to give it" and then they worry about med mal, and I usually get my way ;) Very very rarely did I use this technique, but it worked.

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Are chest x-rays sensitive enough to pick up cancer at an early stage though? It is my understanding that many tumors do not become visible on a chest x-ray until they are relatively advanced. In which case I wonder if a clear chest x-ray is false reassurance. A CT scan is more sensitive but I suppose it would be even harder to persuade the average doctor to do this for a "healthy" person than it would be to persuade them to do an x-ray.

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This is a subject that has been on my mind for quite some time now. My mom passed away from lc this past June and since then I have been very active about getting healthy and hopefully staying that way. I quit smoking and when I went to my primary I asked for chest x-ray just to be sure and at first she asked why and when I told her she understood. Lung cancer runs throughout my whole family so when they say it is not heriditary I tell them to tell my grandmother, aunt, another aunt and my mom all who have had lc. My doctor asked if I had a cough and I said no but she said if I said yes then the insurance company would have to pay for it instead of making it come out of my pocket so I said yes and she put it in her notes. I feel that why should I pay for it out of my pocket when in the long run it will save the insurance company alot of money by finding out sooner then later and I pay enough already every month on premiums. My chest x-ray was fine and my doctor feels that once a year may be too much but once every two years we will do an x-ray to be sure. I say everyone should get one and then mark your calendars for a reminder and to be sure to stay on top of it because my mother's oncologist said that she had lc long before it was diagnosed and maybe if she was diagnosed sooner then maybe I would have had my mother here yesterday for Thanksgiving.

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Sarah,

Chest xrays from what I understand are not 100%, but they can pick up some early cancers depending on the size. I was told it sort of was equated to an occult stool test where they check for blood in the stool---it is pretty accurate, but of course you can never know 100% unless you do a colonoscopy.

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Andrea,

My doctor has ordered one the last couple of years because I've had several years (once a year) of horrible bronchitis. I even broke two ribs last year from severe coughing. I've got granulomas (caused probably by histoplasmosis that is pretty common because we apparently get it from the soil in the MidWest). Most of the granulomas are calcified (which is a good thing), but I am now having to get a CT scan every 6 months just to be sure everything stays ok and will be checked for two years. I've got two that haven't calcified yet, but she said they will in time. So far I've had 3 CT's, no more x-rays, but everything is A-OK!

I told her I wanted to continue to get CTs after the 2 years, but she said, "Well, maybe just X-Rays." Since my insurance will pay for the CTs (I think), I'm going to push for the CTs since they are more thorough.

Love,

Peggy

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