Jump to content

what happens after chemo & radiation?


Recommended Posts

My mom had 4 rounds of chemo - Cisplatin & Gemcitabine. She had a CT scan of her chest & head(because of headaches). It showed shrinkage of the tumour, and that her nodules are likely also affected. Then after a short break she has had 3 weeks of radiation, with 1 more week to go. Her dr at the Cancer Clinic told her that after radiation they will do a CT scan in a couple months, and other than that she can just see her family dr.

It seems like there should be more testing/monitoring. Is it normal to have chemo, then radiation, and then that is it? Shouldn't they be checking the tumour for growth and maybe considering more treatment. She had a bone scan a few months ago, which turned out to be good. Should she be getting another one at some point? We are happy that the treatment she has received has seemed to help, and hopefully will give her more time, but isn't there more that should be done than just waiting for it to start growing again?

She was initially told it was inoperable because the tumour is too close to her pulmonary artery. Should she meet with a surgeon again to see if there has been any change there?

Some of the treatment she has received and the time frame she has received it in has been a result of me harrassing the doctors and the clinic to make it happen, so I want to make sure we are doing everything we can, but I just don't know what should happen next. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would think that since she is a stage IV that she will be offered more. Once her radiation is done there will most likely be a CT scan to see where things stand. I don't think you've mentioned how old your mom is? Maybe they want to give her a break to build herself up? If you're uncomfortable, get a second opinion. I hope she gets good results from the radiation.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Typically, after chemo and radiation and a CT scan a couple months later , I think the followup is CT scans every 3 months for a while, then 4 months, 6 months, etc. Sometimes, if something shows up on a scan, there will be a follow-up with a PET scan. Sometimes, not, tho. If/when the tumors start to grow, the oncologist, typically, would offer more chemo - probably something other than the original ones.

Few (none?) would consider a family doctor qualified to be the sole source of care in this situation. And, I can't imagine a family doctor wanting to be the one to provide it. If this is what your cancer center is recommending, you might want to consider getting a second opinion from an oncologist not associated with the center you are going to now.

Good luck!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my case, I don't see radiation oncology anymore. I was dismissed from them after a few years of annual folow-up after breast cancer radiation.

I still see my oncologist and my lung surgeon every year, and they've never indicated that I would ever be released from them.

I think that standard routine is every few months with the oncologist going forward long term.

The only role my family doctor has in my cancer care is helping me keep all this organized and making sure that all the bases are covered. For instance, he made sure I had a colonoscopy at 50 yoa and always asks me about mammograms and if I'm keeping all my appointments with the oncologist and chest surgeon.

Someone needs to manage the care, and usually in non-surgical patients, it's either the oncologist or pulmonologist.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...


I'm pretty much where your Mom is. In fact people will tell you they have not seen me on line. After my 2nd clear CT scan, I needed to get back to me. I took a hall pass from here.My Tx is out of MSKCC they are a protocol hospital, so I step a little to the left and a little to the right i/e wine and barley each day! I am 9 mo. out of chemoradiation and they are just now doing a PET to determine if > consolidation is tumor or Ca. I feel great. I agree last Oct, Nov I would have"sold the ranch" and paid cash for any scan I could get. Bottom line, I went back to work and all is well, but it is tuff to finish Tx. Best to you and your Mom. Mary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with what most of the others have stated. At minimum I would think a CT scan be done every 3-6 months for a while.

Also my husband's lead dr. is his medical oncologist and will remain so. All

his other drs (radiation oncologist, infectous disease dr) defer to Alan's medical


Prayers for your family

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.