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Is a scan necessary?

6 REPLIES 6
Funkilala
Member

Re: Is a scan necessary?

Hi catseye
I think you only have a CT scan and Bone scan if your SN and/or lymph nodes are affected.
catseye
Member

Re: Is a scan necessary?

Thanks everyone for your replies. Interesting that it depends on the hospital and that it doesn't seem to make much difference if you're private or NHS.
Roadrunner: the"two week rule" sounds like sensible advice, thanks.
sukiem
Member

Re: Is a scan necessary?

Hi catseye. I had CT of Thorax/Abdomen plus MRI (as the clinical size of my tumour didn't tally with the mammogram and ultrasound). They also wanted me to have a bone scan but I didn't want one as I have chronic arthritis and the possibilty of having a false positive was too much for me to handle!
I've also had various chest xrays (due to having a PICC line).

My hospital is a regional cancer centre and in my experience they are pretty thorough and the scans (apart from the MRI) are standard. However theres a lot of research that I found on the net saying that often scans are not necessary unless you have particular symptoms.

I agree with the other posters that it depends on the hospital x
Downbutnotout
Member

Re: Is a scan necessary?

I haven't had any scans other than an MRI scan prior to my first op but it seemed rather pointless because it didn't show the satellite tumours so I ended up having a mx a month after my WLE and axillary clearance. I had 5 affected lymph nodes, one with extra nodal extension, plus vascular invasion. But still no offer of scans. Yet another of my colleagues who was treated at a different hospital did have scans after her treatment finished. It does seem to depend which hospital.
X

hazelmary
Member

Re: Is a scan necessary?

Hello Catseye
I was diagnosed 9 years ago, had private medical cover, 6 out of 17 nodes affected but never had a scan. I did ask at the time and was told a scan was not required. Just have a mamogram every year although I probably don't have to have one every year, thats just my choice.
Hazel

RoadRunner
Member

Re: Is a scan necessary?

Different hospitals seem to have different protocols. I was treated in Leicester, where you only get a scan if there is something to indicate there may be spread. This does not include spread to lymph nodes, as it was in three of my lymph nodes but I have never had a scan of any sort.
It is possible for cancer to spread via the blood stream as well as via the lymph system, this is called vascular invasion. They will have looked for this when they did your surgery. However, there is no test available to detect stray cancer cells in the body, as scans can only pick up actual lumps. So a scan can give you a false sense of security.
The best thing you can do is be vigilant for any suspicious symptoms you have - a good rule of thumb is to wait two weeks after anything that worries you, as anything non cancer related will probably go away in that time. If it is still there after two weeks then go and get it checked out.

catseye
Member

Is a scan necessary?

I was diagnosed in January, had WLE, SNB, Chemo and Rads. Now treatment is finished, people keep asking me "So are your scans clear?"...but I've never had one.
The SNB showed no spread to the lymph nodes, so does this mean there is no possibility of spread elsewhere and can they be sure of this? I was wondering if everyone else in my situation had one?
I kind of wish I could have a scan for reassurance, or am I just being paranoid?
Thanks