I havent been offerd a scan

Please can anyone give advise. I was diagnosed with grade 3 BC in Feb this year, I had a lumpectomy followed by 3 x FEC and 3 x Tax, 5 wks of rads and I will also be on Herceptin for a year. I have asked several times for a scan/mri but I have been told I will not be offered one as my nodes were clear and I had clear margins along side a small lump 1-2cms, but looking at many posts on here you have all been offered scans. Should I insist on a scan?? Obviously its playing on my mind if there is anything else floating around but dont no what to do for the best??

Mostpeople offered scans are high risk… That could be positive nodes, pre existing pain, large tumour, positive margins, or certain types of cancer such as inflammatory BC may be offered scans. And lobular cancers often get a breast MRI prior to surgery as this type of cancer doesn’t always show on mammo.

Some people get scans as the develop symptoms so require say a chest xray if they develop a cough etc.

So with a small grade 3 tumour and negative sentinel node biopsy here is no point in scanning you.

Lulu xxx

Doc told me they used to CT scan everyone but now only if the lymph nodes are involved, which is the case with me.

HI i was told that they scan if you have 4 or more nodes involved , also they told me as i only had 3 involved that because i had alot going on and it was invasive also my age came into it witch at the time i was 46 so i think it is down to the doctor u have . xxjosie

Hi Otus

Insist on a Scan, they do them routinely at my hospital, I had my bone scan and torso scans before they knew the full picture! Don’t put up with money saving pathetic excuses, it is your body, you sometimes have to kick up a fuss to get what is best for you. Write a letter expressing concern that you haven’t been scanned and ask for their reasons why, be persistant and make sure you request one formally in writing! Doesn’t matter about node involvement, or the size of tumour baloney, just get your scans done and don’t give up. Sorry to rant a bit - I am annoyed with the government this week grrrr

Paula x

I was told they don’t “just do” scans because different types of scans will miss different problems - and small numbers of cancer cells won’t show up anyway. So they rely on other stuff (symptoms, bloods etc) to give a better idea of when a scan might be needed - which type of scan and where.

This information could also be related to my current level of risk (primary breast cancer).

I know in medicine in general just giving scans have their own risks - not least all the worry associated with waiting for the results.

I agree with make sure you have asked the questions and got an answer that satisfies you - but don’t just think it is cost cutting.


I don’t think scans would be offered if they could miss anything! The same could be said for doing a biopsy on a lymph node, don’t bother unless there is a symptom there!! LoL

The fluorescent fluid injection ct scan picks up any stray cancer cells, that is what I as told by the radiologist. We don’t always get symptoms of early stages of cancer, so to rely on that alone would be foolish. There was no more risk in having my scans that an X-ray.

For your own peace of mind i would request scanning.

Good luck

Paula x

I was told that a tumour elsewhere in the body would have to be at least 0.5cm to be detected by scans. Of course you can try insisting on scans if you want. It’s everyone’s right to try to get the procedures and treatments they think that they need. However, I think you’ll have a fight on your hands given that your nodes and margins were clear.

I think “you have all been offered scans” is probably a bit of an exaggeration - sorry.

I had a big grade 3 lump, clear nodes, and I haven’t had any scans apart from an MRI just of my breasts re mx - my lump was lobular.

It’s not a money saving thing that scans aren’t done it’s a psychological thing… If yo have a scan today and nothing shows up which is unlikely in the OPs case then is she falsely reassured that nothing will appear? Or will she then deman another scan in a month to see if it’s still normal? Also many scans do show up abnormalities which need lots of investigations which causes extreme distress and worry to find out it is just a normal lesion for you like rads damage or a fatty liver ect and completely unrelated to BC and unlikely to cause any harm… But it can feel like an emotional turmoil.

Only those at a higher risk from secondaries should be scanned… There has been extensive research carried out on this over the years and it has nothing to do with the government… In my unit which is a screening unit anybody with a tumour of 2cm gets a chest xray, if they have node involvement at biopsy the have have bone scan and abdo CT too… In symptomatic they do seem to only offer scans more frequently where at leas four nodes are involved.

Try not to be irrationally worried… With your diagnosis even if you wre to get secondaries it’s unlikely they would be evident so soon… If however you develop any symptoms do inform your onc or BS or BCN and they can organise any necessary investigations they feel are required… If mets were found and you were asymptomatic it’s unlikely they would treat them any different to your current treatment anyway.