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A Couple of Questions

Amy P

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I have a couple of general treatment questions that I know you all will know the answer to....

1) Are bone scans done only when there is pain? Mom has been experiencing some leg pain since returning from their trip - she attributes it to sitting on their trip but I am not so sure. It is primarily around her knee - in the joint. She went to see a nurse practioner (who is her GP) and she is sending her to get tested for blood clots...which leads to

2) Are blood clots a side effect of Iressa? or of LC in general?

3) Are CTs normally done just of the chest or upper body - esp in the case of recurrance? Mom is having a chest CT in late Aug and since we know the cancer is in the lmpyh nodes should the doc be checking to make sure there aren't any mets to the brain or do they again wait until symptoms are present?

Thanks in advance!

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I know they sometimes do a bone scan after radiation to see if cancer has spread to the bone. They did to a friend of mine who had lung cancer and also my dad who had cancer of the prostate. They said that since his bones were already involved his cancer in the prostate was too advanced so they could not give him anymore treatments. I have had the pain in the knee joints for years but it is arthritis and now degenerative bone disease. Hopefully thats all it is for your Mom too. Will keep my fingers crossed for you.


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Hi Amy

I don't really understand too much about the ins and outs of testing, but I will try to answer some of your questions.

With regard to bone scans, Mum's bone scan was done because the PET scan suggested that a rib was involved, but it was inconclusive. The bone scan, as it turned out, was somewhat inconclusive too, but that was the reason for it. I think it may generally be used for the staging process. I guess, if there is significant pain, they would do the scan to check for mets for the purpose of radiation for pain control.

Can't answer your question about blood clots. Do a search using the icon at the top of the page - I know it has been discussed on the board before.

Head CTs (I believe) are not routinely done unless symptoms present.

Hope this helps a bit.

All the best.


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I've become the blood clot expert. Some people get blood clots from the cancer--it causes the blood to thicken enough to start causing the clots. That is how my husband was diagnosed.

It can be dealt with by going on to a blood thinner. Initially, they have to give heparin through an IV or injections to get the blood thinned. Once that has been done, then they can switch to coumadin, which is a pill. The blood levels have to be checked every few days to start with until the coumadin builds up in your system.

Some people can be given clot-busting medicine. My husband wasn't able to get it because he had had 2 mini-strokes and didn't want to risk it.

Hope she doesn't have clots. But, if she does and you need more information or have questions, please contact me. Take care.

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Thanks to all for your replies - I was just worried that we aren't being proactive enough with the scans. I personally believe that anyone with cancer should have full body scans every 6 months - I am sure insurance Co's wouldn't agree but it sure would make me feel better :)

As for Mom, it turns out that she does have a blood clot (phew) and just as Tina said started the injections of herceptin (sp) every 12 hours for 3 days and then they will switch her to cumodin. I wasn't able to to to this appt because Mom & Pop live an hour away and went to local NP for this so I was a little nervous that they didn't get the whole story but it sounds like they did. Thanks for helping to ease my fears!

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