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A question about scans during chemo/radiation


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I asked today when I was in for chemo, if they did any scans while I'm going thru chemo...and the nurse said, "No!" Apparently my onc feels that doing scans during treatment doesn't tell him much...and so they won't do any until after I've completed all 6 cycles of chemo.

I didn't ask if they'd do a PET scan or what...figuring it's a few months off yet...so I can wait to ask.

But I wondered if any others have oncs who feel this way. I read about some of you getting periodic scans while undergoing treatment...but don't know as I've noted anyone else whose doctor likes to wait. I don't know either if this depends on the type of l.c. and stage....as to whether or not my onc does scans during.

Guess I wasn't prepared very well with all the follow up questions...huh? :(

I suppose the only really BIG question in all this is if the chemo was NOT working....a CT during treatment would provide that info. But then again, if it wasn't working....I'd probably have symptoms that would tip them off and that they'd investigate....right?

Not trying to borrow trouble here...as I really do trust my doc...but just wondered if others of you went all the way thru chemo without any scans?

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John just had his regular quarterly scans. It so happened that one was when he was on taxotere and they saw that there had been no change so they stopped the taxotere and moved on to the next chemo.


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On my first chemo, I had CT chest scans every two cycles (or every 7 weeks), on the Iressa/ZD6474 clinical trial, I had the scan every 4 weeks and on my present treatment, I am scanned after every two cycles (or every 7 weeks). These treatments were under three different oncologists and each one said that the reason for the scans was to determine whether the chemo was effective.

I offer that as my experience...that was at Cedars-Sinai (Los Angeles) and at UCSD Medical (San Diego) and it seemed to be the routine practice.


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My mom had a scan after 2 rounds. The partner in the practice ordered it, her doctor would have waited til round 4. Then she was given a scan after her final round. It makes sense to me to scan at some interval since sclc does respond so well, I felt more confident that we were on the right track. It's clear to me, although this is a science, it also is an art and every physician has his/her own approach. You raise a great issue.


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Our doctor waited until Radiation was finished plus 3 weeks. She said Radiation still worked for a while after treatment stopped. It seems like she completed one phase, tested, then did the next phase, tested. Every 2 to 3 months.

January - April - June.

Hang in there, you can do it.

Margaret in Iowa

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