I wasn't offered a scan of any kind eventhough I had lymph node involvement. I had a WLE, ANC, chemo & rads, on tamoxifen now
I was worried about not having one but as it was explained to me I didn't need one - all results from blood & tissue were good and no inclination of anything sinister so no need for one.
My daughters mother in law had mx, but had lots of scan's due to her having primary & secondry bc - this showed up in her blood at her first dx
I wasn't offered a scan at any point ( except for three all due to appendix problems but that's another story.
I had vascular invasion, but there was still no mention of one.
I've had all active treatment now, just on Arimidex and keeping fingers crossed.
I had loads of scans before and after chemo as they were looking for my primary cancer. Never did find it. So again im very different.
i was due to have a ct scan before the start of chemo, but insisted on having one after surgery as i didnt feel i could wait.they will do another ct after chemo.
I was advised by my oncologist that as I did not have any lymph node involement or signs of vascular invasion, therefore no sign of spread, that a CT scan/ MRI scan would not be necessary as they can not pick up cells only tumors. Like wise when my Chemo has finished I will not be offered a scan for the same reasons, as I have private medical insurance this is not a decision based on finance. My oncologist has said if I really want one I could have one but it wont prove anything.
Hope this helps
I had CT and bone scan as part of my initial DX - no node involvment but BC also in neck. Then went straight onto chemo.
Had another CT scan after 3 months of chemo.
Another different story
No: I wasnt offered one before chemo and refused one at the end of treatment for lots of reasons.I will never have a CT scan unless I have symptoms that I wish to have investigated.
Wow - so many different stories! Here is mine. I have invasive lobular carcinoma. With lymph node involvement. I have had breast tissue biopsy, sentinel node biopsy, bone scan, CT scan, MUGA (heart) scan. Don't think there is anything left to scan or test anymore.
Results came back as T3 N1 M0 Stage 3A - Chemo first to shrink the tumor away from major blood vessels - then surgery, then rads.
But that is just my story - every one has a different tale to tell.
I also had a CT scan as they couldn't find the primary (lymph node involvement was the first sign of cancer for me). I think when they did the CT scan they were looking to make sure it hadn't spread anywhere else. I have asked for another scan to be done at the end of my treatment to put my mind at rest - not sure if i should ask for an MRI rather than a CT though?!
I had a full-body CT scan because they couldn't find my primary (mammo and u/s showed nothing) and they had to exclude cancer in other organs. That they did. But it took an MRI to find the breast primary. I had a further MRI after 3 ECs and will have another at the end of chemo & before surgery. I guess it might have been CTs instead if the tumour had been visible on it.
S2S, Herceptin comes into it, I think. As FEC can (not necessarily "does") adversely affect heart function, and Herceptin can also affect it, at my hospital they like to get a pre-chemo baseline, then a post-chemo-pre-Herceptin measurement, and further scans every 3 months to keep an eye on things while on Herceptin. I don't think they generally do heart function scans/tests if you're not having Herceptin as it's yet another investigation. Write the question down in your little book (if you can find it, I've lost mine somewhere in the house!) and ask your onc next time you see him or her.
I had a staging CT before starting - but mine was neoadjuvant chemo. I had a grade 3 4cm triple negative breast cancer.
I was told they were not routinely done, but mine was done because it was 'an aggressive tumour and you are so young'. Thankfully it was clear.
I was grade 3, node neg. Had an MRI of my boobs before mx, nothing before chemo, will have a rads planning CT.
My understanding of heart/liver scans before chemo is that it depends on the chemo you will be given - both combination of drugs and dosage. Some drugs/drug combinations/dosages can cause heart problems, etc. so I assume they want a baseline.
Does anyone know how they decide who needs a heart muga scan? I didn't have one before chemo but I have a family history of heart disease.
I'm a bit worried about the rads planning ct scan because the last time i had a ct scan (for suspected pulmonary embolism) my vein collapsed and i had to have another scan straight away. My vein is currently well and truly fecced so its a scary prospect.
Just realised I've hijacked this thread hope its not too off topic.
your post reminded me that I had a MUGA scan prior to chemo with FEC. I didn't think of that regards BC as the MUGA is done purely to check that the heart is up to the chemo
It's confusing because the CT scans are used for different things.
If you're having rads, you will usually have a planning scan, either using the rads machine or a CT scanner. This looks specifically at where your tumour was, and is usually accompanied by tattoos.
If you have had positive nodes and they want to check to see if there are any metastases, the CT scan they give you is a much bigger jobbie, and is (I think) a full-body scan. If you had negative nodes they don't generally do them as a matter of course, though individuals may have reasons for asking for one.
I had negative nodes so didn't have a full-body CT, but have been booked for the planning scan before rads (not a full-body one).
I also had a MUGA scan to check heart function before chemo, and another one after chemo and before Herceptin. I understand it's not necessarily standard to have that scan before chemo, so might be just to give a baseline because of Herceptin.
Hope that helps.
My node biopsy came back positive so I had a CT scan. They use it for staging. If you have a smaller lump and no node involvement then it will be stage 1 or 2 and they wont suspect that it's spread.
It seems everywhere is different. I would be happier if I thought it was down to individual oncs choices but my cynical side says that it is all about the budget.
CT scan need to be limited because of the risk of overexposure to Xrays. MRI's don't carry the same risk. I don't want unecessary CT scans but I thought they would do just one to keep as a baseline and reassure the patient going forward.
Also, my CA was in the lower inner quadrant of the breast and I have never been entirely satisfied that the axilla/armpit is the only site for lymphatic drainage in that area as it is as far as it could possibly be from the site of the SNB.
I was grade 2 node negative. No scans routinely offered to me before mastectomy or during chemo. None are planned as far as I am aware for the future either, My first Onc review is beginning of August.
I did have a liver USS after first chemo but that was in response to liver function test being high. I get the impression that, as previously said, the idea is that if nodes are clear with no vascular invasion 'theoretically' it won't have spread. From what I have seen how Derby Royal Hospital operates, if there were symptoms suggesting need to investigate, this is the time scans would be done.
In a way, the fact that they haven't scanned me is quite positive (I don't believe in any way that it was a cost thing).
I had CT scan and bone scan before I started chemo, but I had 7 positive nodes. Luckily they were all clear.
But I am now worried because my Onc has told me that I will not have any scans in the future . Is this normal? How do I check if I have any secondaries developing, especially with a Grade 3 with node involvment? She said that she will keep my last results as a benchmark. She also added that scans can trigger malignancies and therefore best not have them unless strictly necessary.
Don't know whether to insist.... I finished all my treatments in April and I'm now on tamoxifen.
I did think it norm to see if spread I was grade 3 also had bone scan but diff hos do dif things hope this helps Laura
I had a ct before before chemo and am having another after surgery, before rads. Having bone scan too. Think every hospital does it differently.
No, I didn't. I seem to buck the trend as only had my first CT in January this year - 3 and a half yrs after primary diagnosis with bone mets at the same time. I had a lot of affected nodes too. I have had regular bones scans from day 1, usually 6-9 months apart but that's it.
I had a CT & bone scan after dx but before lumpectomy, this may have been because the lump was quite large & two nodes were "suspicious". The CT scan for Rads planning is to mark and measure you for the Rads.
Hope this helps
Yes think thats what the CT was for to plan the radipotherapy and my nodes were clear too.
I really need to ask more questions!!!!!
I wonder if the CT scan before rads is to get a better picture of your chest before rads start. I assumed that becasue I was node negative onc didn't do the CT scan first on the basis that if it isn't in the nodes, it ain't gonna be any where else.
I had a PET CT scan before starting chemo but I am having my chemo before surgery not sure if that makes any difference though.
Hi, Likewise i didn't have a ct scan before fec chemo and I'm having one with rads planning. My nodes were clear too.
I didn't have CT scan before starting chemo but have had one this Tues in my Rads planning??? Onc hasn't mentioned any other one being needed. But everyone seems to have different procedures at different times so who knows what is the norm????
I wanted to ask the above question as the way I am reading things here, most people have one before starting treatment.
My onc says he will do one after my chemo but before I start rads.
I was node negative and I wonder if that was why he did not do a CT scan straight away.