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More tests...why???


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Back in July I had a CT scan, in August I had a PET scan and last month I had a CT guided needle biopsy. I spoke to my oncologist a few days later  and she told me I had non small cell lung cancer, an adenocarcinoma and that she would be referring me to a thoracic surgeon for another consultation. She also told me I would need to have another CT scan with contrast. I had that test on Tuesday and then I got a call later in the day, from my doctors assistant, saying that my oncologist wanted me to have another PET scan too. At the present time all I know is that I have two nodules under 2cm in my right lung ,but only one lit up on my PET scan. I’m not sure why my doctor wants me to go through these tests again. I also don’t know if Medicare is going to pay for them a 2nd time so close together. Is it normal to go through all these tests and have to wait so long for treatment? 

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There's really nothing "normal" about any of this. Lung cancer varies so much from person to person. Did you ask the doctors what it is they are trying to determine with the additional imaging? I'd suggest you do that, and also that you get copies of all your imaging reports. I'm assuming they just want the maximum relevant information, but there must be something they are concerned about determining before you start treatment.

ETA: I didn't mean to suggest YOUR additional testing (and wait for treatment) wasn't "normal"--just that in my experience there is no "normal" for testing or what needs to be figured out before starting on a course of treatment. It depends on you, your cancer, your history, your doctor, your insurance coverage. 

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In my personal experience this sounds normal. For instance I had a chest xray ordered by one doctor on the same day I had a scheduled CAT scan.  That makes zero sense 

However, in the US of A we get over tested. IMO that is better than Canada where it might take 6 months to get a CAT scan.

Best of luck


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The PET scan schedule is usually at 3-month intervals. Your oncologist will get pre-authorization from Medicare and then schedule you. My scans are PET/CT. My last one was in October and the next one will be in January. 

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