advise please from your experience- what scans would be best

I been diagnosed with stage 3 agressive her+ cancer 4 years ago. no secondaries up to now, would like to have my body checked for them as I started to get tired easily now and in any case I would like to know as I am a single mum and about to buy a house. What combination of scans would give me most accurate and least harmfull diagnosis, ie whether there are scans that could check bones, abdomen, liver, lungs and brain in one go and be sensitive to detect small metastatic sites and not involve huge radiation doses. I know the obvious thing would be to ask my oncologist but as I am getting treatment on NHS I am afraid his answer may be affected by cost-efectiveness reasons.
Thank you

Hi anotherone,

I think the standard combination for a general check up is a CT scan for organs and a bone scan. I’m not sure about being able to detect very small mets though, or whether they cover the brain (although I think brain mets would be very unusual with no symptoms and no other mets, so that is probably something you don’t need to worry about). I think MRIs tend to be used to have a very detailed look at one area, but probably not in the first instance. I don’t know much about PET scans, but again I don’t think they are used as an initial diagnostic tool - I have secondaries and have never been offered one - I don’t even know where the nearest one is.

If tiredness is your only symptom, have you ruled out more innocent explanations - anaemia perhaps, or a se of drugs? I hope it will turn out to be something simple like this. Good luck,

finty xx

I suspect MRI may not be used as initial assessment due to costeffectiveness. In my case (her"+) it been known to go straight for brain and once the one has an out of the blue seisure or strange visual effects happening it becomes apparent but my fear is it would have progressed more than if I had found it still asymptomatic. Never mind, my fear is to find any secondaries, may be thats why I am getting all worked up.
I would prefer to rule out cancer first, and if my tiredness still persisted ( as it may be just the effect of me being paranoid)I would investigate other possible reasons

Have you had a blood test? The blood test includes calcium level which might indicate secondaries in the bone; liver function, kidney function and a full blood count. If there is any abnormality they should then check with a scan. I am on herceptin for secondaries and have been told I’ll not have a scan unless there is a change in my blood results.