The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content within the patient forum is user-generated and has not been reviewed by medical professionals. Other sections of the Melanoma Research Foundation website include information that has been reviewed by medical professionals as appropriate. All medical decisions should be made in consultation with your doctor or other qualified medical professional.

Bloodwork, First year no scans

Forums General Melanoma Community Bloodwork, First year no scans

  • Post
    Jydnew
    Participant

      Hi all,

      My husband has been NED for 10.5 years – IIIA at diagnosis in Jan 2002.  This is the first year he won't be getting a scan.  He will get the usual bloodwork and oncology appointment.  What is that worth?  Everything I've said seems to say that bloodwork is only indicative of a recurrance when the cancer is very far gone, and that the patient is the most reliable person to catch a recurrence through symptoms.  He's going to get bloodwork twice a year and a chest x-ray once a year (in winter) from this point forward.

      Hi all,

      My husband has been NED for 10.5 years – IIIA at diagnosis in Jan 2002.  This is the first year he won't be getting a scan.  He will get the usual bloodwork and oncology appointment.  What is that worth?  Everything I've said seems to say that bloodwork is only indicative of a recurrance when the cancer is very far gone, and that the patient is the most reliable person to catch a recurrence through symptoms.  He's going to get bloodwork twice a year and a chest x-ray once a year (in winter) from this point forward.

      I read that conditional survival puts his chances of continuing NED at the same rate as someone who was diagnosed at stage I.

      Wishing many years of NED to everyone here…

      Wendy

    Viewing 11 reply threads
    • Replies
        JC
        Participant

          Bloodwork meaning like LDH?  CBC (look at white cell count, etc…)? 

            Jydnew
            Participant

              Yep – exactly that.  LDH and CBC – there was something else there too, but I can't remember what it was…

              Gene_S
              Participant

                Wendy, I suspect that they want to monitor his LDH levels. When my cancer was growing my LDH levels were rising When the treatments starting working my LDH levels started to decrease. I would have his LDH levels checked regularly and if they stay in the normal range rejoice!  Gene

                Gene_S
                Participant

                  Wendy, I suspect that they want to monitor his LDH levels. When my cancer was growing my LDH levels were rising When the treatments starting working my LDH levels started to decrease. I would have his LDH levels checked regularly and if they stay in the normal range rejoice!  Gene

                  Gene_S
                  Participant

                    Wendy, I suspect that they want to monitor his LDH levels. When my cancer was growing my LDH levels were rising When the treatments starting working my LDH levels started to decrease. I would have his LDH levels checked regularly and if they stay in the normal range rejoice!  Gene

                    Jydnew
                    Participant

                      Yep – exactly that.  LDH and CBC – there was something else there too, but I can't remember what it was…

                      Jydnew
                      Participant

                        Yep – exactly that.  LDH and CBC – there was something else there too, but I can't remember what it was…

                      JC
                      Participant

                        Bloodwork meaning like LDH?  CBC (look at white cell count, etc…)? 

                        JC
                        Participant

                          Bloodwork meaning like LDH?  CBC (look at white cell count, etc…)? 

                          akls
                          Participant

                            Wendy,

                            Congrats on getting good news with your husbands follow up!  I'm also 3A and I have the same protocol is he does now.  Blood work twice a year chest x-ray once.  This is all I've had since my PET after completing interferon.  There are some cancer centers who don't scan unless the patient is having symptoms.  Just letting you know that I don't think his current follow up is that unusual. 

                            Congrats again!!

                            Amy S. in Michigan

                            akls
                            Participant

                              Wendy,

                              Congrats on getting good news with your husbands follow up!  I'm also 3A and I have the same protocol is he does now.  Blood work twice a year chest x-ray once.  This is all I've had since my PET after completing interferon.  There are some cancer centers who don't scan unless the patient is having symptoms.  Just letting you know that I don't think his current follow up is that unusual. 

                              Congrats again!!

                              Amy S. in Michigan

                              akls
                              Participant

                                Wendy,

                                Congrats on getting good news with your husbands follow up!  I'm also 3A and I have the same protocol is he does now.  Blood work twice a year chest x-ray once.  This is all I've had since my PET after completing interferon.  There are some cancer centers who don't scan unless the patient is having symptoms.  Just letting you know that I don't think his current follow up is that unusual. 

                                Congrats again!!

                                Amy S. in Michigan

                                Gene_S
                                Participant

                                  Wendy,

                                  Other than an MRI (a MRI has no radiation) the CT and PET scans have high doses of  radiation which accumulate in your body (mostly forever).

                                   Radiation from these scans could end up as causing leukemia… possibly a trade off from one cancer for another?

                                  I would suggest that you do some homework on the long term effects of  radiation from scans before you get too upset that he is not being scanned again.

                                  Best wishes,

                                  Gene

                                  PS.  NED is great, Congratulations

                                    Jydnew
                                    Participant

                                      I completely agree.  My question isn't should he get the scans (though I admit it's an adjustment to go through this first time without them), but rather – what is the point of the bloodwork?  With just bloodwork and an oncology appointment, why bother?  Does it actually catch anything before the patient would?  

                                      I guess I'm thinking – each year, we go through this scanxiety.  We argue more, we get on each other's nerves waiting for the results.  Would life be better without any bloodwork, without anything at this point?

                                      I'm questioning the balance between getting the bloodwork and worrying about the results versus doing nothing and letting melanoma take a permanent backseat in our lives now that 10 years has passed.  I know vigilance in checking skin and potential symptoms of recurrance will always be necessary, but I'm not convinced that bloodwork is necessary to be vigilant.

                                      Jydnew
                                      Participant

                                        I completely agree.  My question isn't should he get the scans (though I admit it's an adjustment to go through this first time without them), but rather – what is the point of the bloodwork?  With just bloodwork and an oncology appointment, why bother?  Does it actually catch anything before the patient would?  

                                        I guess I'm thinking – each year, we go through this scanxiety.  We argue more, we get on each other's nerves waiting for the results.  Would life be better without any bloodwork, without anything at this point?

                                        I'm questioning the balance between getting the bloodwork and worrying about the results versus doing nothing and letting melanoma take a permanent backseat in our lives now that 10 years has passed.  I know vigilance in checking skin and potential symptoms of recurrance will always be necessary, but I'm not convinced that bloodwork is necessary to be vigilant.

                                        Jydnew
                                        Participant

                                          I completely agree.  My question isn't should he get the scans (though I admit it's an adjustment to go through this first time without them), but rather – what is the point of the bloodwork?  With just bloodwork and an oncology appointment, why bother?  Does it actually catch anything before the patient would?  

                                          I guess I'm thinking – each year, we go through this scanxiety.  We argue more, we get on each other's nerves waiting for the results.  Would life be better without any bloodwork, without anything at this point?

                                          I'm questioning the balance between getting the bloodwork and worrying about the results versus doing nothing and letting melanoma take a permanent backseat in our lives now that 10 years has passed.  I know vigilance in checking skin and potential symptoms of recurrance will always be necessary, but I'm not convinced that bloodwork is necessary to be vigilant.

                                        Gene_S
                                        Participant

                                          Wendy,

                                          Other than an MRI (a MRI has no radiation) the CT and PET scans have high doses of  radiation which accumulate in your body (mostly forever).

                                           Radiation from these scans could end up as causing leukemia… possibly a trade off from one cancer for another?

                                          I would suggest that you do some homework on the long term effects of  radiation from scans before you get too upset that he is not being scanned again.

                                          Best wishes,

                                          Gene

                                          PS.  NED is great, Congratulations

                                          Gene_S
                                          Participant

                                            Wendy,

                                            Other than an MRI (a MRI has no radiation) the CT and PET scans have high doses of  radiation which accumulate in your body (mostly forever).

                                             Radiation from these scans could end up as causing leukemia… possibly a trade off from one cancer for another?

                                            I would suggest that you do some homework on the long term effects of  radiation from scans before you get too upset that he is not being scanned again.

                                            Best wishes,

                                            Gene

                                            PS.  NED is great, Congratulations

                                            DebbieH
                                            Participant

                                              The bloodwork has never been worth much but still some places do it. 

                                              I'm stage IIIC, NED over 10 years and had no scans at all after interferon.  I did have MRI's when I went from stage 1A to IIIC for staging purposes.  I go to a major melanoma center and they do no scans after stage III unless you have symptoms.  Some places do so much scanning that it's no wonder the cancer comes back.  You have to find a balance you can live with.  I have to say that it's been very easy for me to get on with my life after "all this" since I don't have that scanxiety.  Good luck to you both.

                                              DebbieH, stage IIIC, NED 10+ years after interferon and no scans.

                                              DebbieH
                                              Participant

                                                The bloodwork has never been worth much but still some places do it. 

                                                I'm stage IIIC, NED over 10 years and had no scans at all after interferon.  I did have MRI's when I went from stage 1A to IIIC for staging purposes.  I go to a major melanoma center and they do no scans after stage III unless you have symptoms.  Some places do so much scanning that it's no wonder the cancer comes back.  You have to find a balance you can live with.  I have to say that it's been very easy for me to get on with my life after "all this" since I don't have that scanxiety.  Good luck to you both.

                                                DebbieH, stage IIIC, NED 10+ years after interferon and no scans.

                                                DebbieH
                                                Participant

                                                  The bloodwork has never been worth much but still some places do it. 

                                                  I'm stage IIIC, NED over 10 years and had no scans at all after interferon.  I did have MRI's when I went from stage 1A to IIIC for staging purposes.  I go to a major melanoma center and they do no scans after stage III unless you have symptoms.  Some places do so much scanning that it's no wonder the cancer comes back.  You have to find a balance you can live with.  I have to say that it's been very easy for me to get on with my life after "all this" since I don't have that scanxiety.  Good luck to you both.

                                                  DebbieH, stage IIIC, NED 10+ years after interferon and no scans.

                                              Viewing 11 reply threads
                                              • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
                                              About the MRF Patient Forum

                                              The MRF Patient Forum is the oldest and largest online community of people affected by melanoma. It is designed to provide peer support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. There is no better place to discuss different parts of your journey with this cancer and find the friends and support resources to make that journey more bearable.

                                              The information on the forum is open and accessible to everyone. To add a new topic or to post a reply, you must be a registered user. Please note that you will be able to post both topics and replies anonymously even though you are logged in. All posts must abide by MRF posting policies.