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Let's compare notes: follow up tests

S. Jane

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After you all have gone through the first series of chemo/radiation/surgery treatment for your cancer, what time period and type of tests were you given? Specifically, I'm wondering how often PET, CAT, X-rays, MRI's etc. are given. Was it insurance that decided the after care? Is there safety issues with having too many?



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My Dad just got dx'd in Feb., and already has had 3 chest xray's, 2 PET, and one CT. He is also scheduled for another CT next week. This could all be because he has had so much happen to his tumor, and lymph. changing in such a small amount of time. Dont know about the norm though. Just whats happened to him... His insurance has paid in full for everything thus far, and we have a note in his file saying to contact ins. before any test to make sure it is covered, and if not contact us. Never needed it though, they are really good.


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I got a PET, CT and MRI of the brain 8 weeks after all of my treatments were finished as a "base line" set of films. Since then I have gotten a chest Xray, 3 months later a CT and am scheduled to have a chest x-ray in 3 months and a MRI of the brain...then 3 months after that another full set of scans without the brain that time. I think each doc has a little different approach but most see you for some kind of scan or test every 3 months. All depends on how you are progressing and where and what kind of disease you have.


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I get a chest x-ray each month, a CT scan every 3 months, a blood test every week and a liver profile every 4th week. Had an MRI and bone scan at dx but not since.

So far this has been telling them what they need to know to be able to treat me.

Prayers and good wishes being sent your way.

God Bless,


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Guest bean_si (Not Active)

The first month I had a PET, whole body; also an abdomen, head and bone scan. The PET scan was ordered when they thought I had NSCLC. It took 3 biopsies for them to come back with live cells. They found out I had SCLC. Today my rad onc said SCLC doesn't respond well to PET when I asked him to do one to see if the remaining tumors had cancerous cells or were just necrotic. I got the distinct feeling it's an insurance thing.

After chemo & radiation, they took a baseline scan of the chest. Then a month later, due to symptoms, I had another bone scan, whole body and Thoracic Spine scan. That evening I ended up in the hospital and received a chest x-ray and then CT Thorax on May 3, 2004. I'm scheduled for another CT Thorax on June 16th.

I think the CT Thorax is scheduled every 2 or 3 months. I'm almost positive my onc. said every 2 months for me. I hate the idea of so much radiation but it beats the alternative of cancer growing unnoticed.


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Bloodwork with EVERY scan or x-ray

First six months:

Tests every month, CT scan was every three, x-ray for the other two months (by month: x-ray, x-ray, CT, x-ray, x-ray, CT)

Second six months:

Tests every other month, CT as third test (by month: x-ray, nothing, x-ray, nothing, CT, nothing)

Beginning of second year:

Tests every three months, alternating between CT and x-ray (by month: x-ray, nothing, nothing, CT, nothing, nothing)

End of two years out from surgery:

Tests every six months, alternating between CT and x-ray

Five years out:

Annual test (not sure if one over the other or both, will let you know when I get there!)

I have had:

CT from head to pelvis, full body bone scan (March '03 prior to second opinion)

CT of brain due to migraines (last fall)

CT of brain due to "issues" (last Friday)

MRI of brain for follow up to clear CT needing better "view" (Tuesday)

Tests are ordered as either my GP or oncologist see fit...

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