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Yesterday in the news they were saying that ct scans might be overly used and giving off radiation which might cause cancer itself.My onco has me get ct scan every 6 months with xray at every 3 month in between.Myself i would have the scan as is and know if there is a new or recurrant cancer. Hopefully the scan is a small risk. What are your opinions on this and how often do you recieve scans and xrays?Onco also told me last visit if I get another clean checkup in Dec. we will go to 1 scan per year but I think I would like to keep it at every 6 months.

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I think you have to consider the benefits and risks of CT scans. I don't think I'd have one of those "body scan" deals that look for cancer and circulatory problems where ever they might be. (I'm talking about the ones that offer 3 or 4 tests for $199 and send the results to you.) On the other hand, if a scan will identify cancer soon enough to successfully treat, I think it's worth the risk. My Onc.s in VA ordered them every 3 months for the first couple years. And another tumor was found early because of that. My former Onc here switched to PET scans, using CTs to verify problems. My current Onc is recommending scans every 3 - 4 mo.


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I have also read all of that news with some concern. Radiation does have a cumulative effect, and that has long been known. I'm thinking this over as a topic to discuss with my surgeon when I see him for my CT and visit in May, but here's how I think he will answer...

Yes, there is a risk of too much radiation from imaging exams leading to another cancer, but there is also an increased risk for you to get another cancer since you've already had one lung tumor. The risk of you getting another cancer after having had one lung tumor already is more dangerous to your health than the risk of possibly developing cancer many years down the road because of too many tests. And, early detection of a second tumor would be your best shot at a cure, so we believe that the current course of a CT scan once a year is in your best interests.

And I think that is the logical course of treatment for me. I do worry about it, and for the first three years after my surgery, I only had chest x-rays. The hospital just changed their procedure two years ago to do CT scans for those of us who are getting annual follow-up after lung cancer surgery.

It wouldn't bother me though to go back to the chest x-ray once a year, partly because of this cumulative radiation, partly because of the anxiety involved in a CT for me, and also because I've had a lot of radiation to my chest already in my treatment for breast cancer.

But, having said that, I have all the confidence that my surgeon is doing everything he does for me with my best interests in mind. So, I'm just going to think on this all for a few months and possibly bring it up when I see him again in May.

Just my thoughts.


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