CT scans: how long should we continue

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    Greg…..I also meant to extend a hearty “pat on the back” for the great news of a clean scan at 3 years. You have to be just really jumping up and down to have that report back and all still well. Congratulations!!!

    Julie T.



    The last I heard from my oncologist, the plan was for me to have scans every 3-4 months until 3 years and at that time go to every 6 months. Then at 5 years, I would be stretched out to 1 year.

    I can see why there “might” be some thought behind stopping at two years because at that point, my oncologist said that the odds go to the patient’s favor more that the CC will not return and stopping the scans would limit the radiation exposure.

    But, the odds are far from perfect/100% at two years. He just gave us the idea that at that point, we could breathe a little easier, because the original cancer does not “hide” for several years and then reappear. What I gathered from that, is that if it hasn’t come back, then there were probably no circulating cancer cells remaining in my body. And…if it does come back after that time, then I guess it would be because whatever caused it to grow in the first place was still present and started a new cancer. I’m also guessing that two years post resection allows for a very slow growing CC cells to grow large enough to be seen.

    I am having scans done this Thursday with results on Friday. I will be bringing up this topic with him, but personally, I am not comfortable with stopping scans at 2 years. I may talk to the oncologist about stretching to 6 months though.

    I am also wondering if the discontinuing of scans at 2 years you have run into is an insurance or Medicare rule.

    Julie T.


    Hi Gregg, First a BIG YIPPEE for you! YIPPEE, a new poster boy! It seems what Melinda said is a course used by a lot of cancers. My husband had Scans every 3 months for 2 years, then went to every 6 months up to his 5th year when it returned. I also had a rare abdominal cancer not CC but followed the same course of Scans. I just reached the end of my 5th year and now go to once a year. Not sure how it goes with Insurance. You might want to call and ask your Insurance company. Again I am over the moon about your good news!!!!


    I can’t imagine just being done, I would think that every 6 months would be perfectly acceptable until 5 years and then yearly……I know I have heard that somewhere but would have to research where. I also think it depends on insurance coverage of course!!

    Congrats on 3 years of clean reports!!! That calls for a party!!!! Celebrate!



    I am getting close to 3 years since my surgery with clean reports. I have been told that the new cancer protocol says for Cholangio you get two years of CT scans and then you are done. Has anyone heard or seen anything different. Or has your oncologist told you you can have scans every six months for as long as necessary.

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