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CT Scan Frequency


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Hi everyone,

I haven't written in a while as everything has been a bit overwhelming.

I have a quick question though: Is it the norm to perform a CT scan after only 2 rounds of chemo? Is this because they think it is not working? I asked the doctor yesterday before the 2nd round whether or not my Mom's bloodwork showed a decrease in cancer markers...he avoided me by saying that they don't use markers in lung cancer...yet I have heard others reference them.

Should I be worried (um, more than I already am)???

thank you! Brandie

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Hi Brandie,

I have PET scans done every 3 months, regardless of what treatment I might be undergoing. I think 3 months is pretty standard and it looks from your signature that your mom's last scan was about 3 months ago. Its probably just a routine scan that is being scheduled.

Hope everything goes well for your mom.


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Hi Brandie,

I recently finished my chemo in late May. Now I am on maintenance with just Avastin. I got scanned after every 2 rounds of chemo, and now get scanned after every 3 rounds of Avastin. My scans have always shown improvement, so I don't think your mom's doc was was evading your questions. My oncologist also says that there are no tumor markers specific to lung cancer, and he would not treat an increased marker - there would have to be something on the scan before we would start chemo. He does not even look at markers. So I do not think that you have reason to be overly concerned about her being scanned so soon. Good luck and stay strong. I will keep you and mom in my prayers.

God Bless,


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For what it is worth, I'd rather that the Doc did scans more often on my husband! :) We are chomping at the bit now because he isn't due for another scan (PET & CAT) until November and we don't know if the Tarceva is working or not until then. As for the blood tumor marker tests, he has had a few CEA's done over the last 18 mos., but the Doc doesn't seem to rely on those too much. Tony was in the normal range when we first started, so I'm not sure those have been a good indicator in his particular case.

Breathe deep and try and relax. I (and everyone else here) know how hard this journey is with the twists and turns.

Keeping you in my thoughts,


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Hello there Brandie ~

I think we all have a love/hate relationship with scans - it's so hard waiting for the results but gosh, it is so great to celebrate when the results are good.

I get a CT chest & abdomen after every two cycles of chemo. I think that is pretty typical. If the results are good - stable or shrinkage, then I continue the treatment. If there is progression, then my doctor said that we would have to make a decision to continue the same treatment or look at my other options. My doctor doesn't rely on the results of CEAs for lung cancer, so I haven't had that test done at all.

I hope that both you and your Mom are going as well as possible. Keep us updated about her results!!

With a gentle hug,

Pam in FL

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