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Five year followup scans

Forums General Melanoma Community Five year followup scans

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      I almost feel like I have no right to complain. I am almost five years post surgery and my physician suggested that I can discontinue the followup scans. I am terrified. The scans provide me assurance that I will catch any recurrence in time to take advantage of the advances in treatment and, at least, provide me with the chance to fight a recurrence successfully. If I have no idea that the cancer has returned how do I fight it?

      How do others of you deal with this?



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          Hey it's tough to think that you will no longer be protected but in my opinion that is not the case. Time to put melanoma in the rear view.  Im a few months from my 5 year anniversary and they will discontinue scans and I'm excited about that. No longer will they be pumping radioactive sugars into my body and coming up with false positives and scaring me to death. No more will I have trouble sleeping the night before the scan. No more visualizing my toddlers without their Dad. I know it's tough to think that it could be lurking just waiting for the onc to discontinue looking but I look at it more as a graduation. I've made it to the NED club and so have you!!! Congrats!


              Hi Mary,

              I will be at 5 years next May.  They skipped my PET CT this year, though, and I am only year 4, though I am stage I or II (depending on how you figure in the regression). 


              I agree, it is reassuring to have them yearly.  I do not like feeling like I am in the dark.  I am debating on whether it is feasible for me to self-pay to continue the scans, and whether it is a good idea.  I understand the radiation exposure is siginificant, but then so is MM.  My oncologist offers a significant discount for self-pay PET-CTs, though it still comes to around $6-8k or so, so it is not exactly cheap.  I am deciding whether I want to do this next summer.  I understand exactly what you mean, and I have not yet decided how I am going to handle this.


              Curious, are they offering you lung/liver/abdominal x-rays in place of the CT?


              It is hard to imagine that they would not offer at least some type of minimal imaging going forward, or what the justification could be for that with mucosal melanoma.  Did they explain the reasoning?



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