CT lung cancer screening

Posted by joelars @joelars, Sun, Jul 7 11:39pm

I listened to a discussion concerning cancer screening. It was the opinion of the oncologists that doctors continue screenings late into the patients life where the risks of radiation exposure outweigh any benefits because the patient doesn’t have enough years, statistically, to live. Does anyone know about what age is the right age to discontinue cancer screenings?

@joelars

@merpreb My scans are 4 months apart. I'm hoping it is unusual to find the tumor in this shortest period? the problem is I told the doctor not to call me and instead I scheduled an appointment, because last time he called and told me to come in. I waited 1 week thinking I had cancer only to find out it was a residue of the infection. But the downside is I have to wait 4 days to see him on this recent test. I googled the symptoms of lung cancer and I don't have wheezing, blood, pain in arm or chest, cough, weakness but the article also said many people don't have any symptoms early on. I'm hoping if I do have a tumor, it could only be 4 months old and therefore small? so maybe they could successfully remove it?

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@joelars– If your doctor was concerned that you had lung cancer based on what he saw then he'd have you do a PE scan. Aren't you driving yourself nuts with all of this? I did and it really makes things worse- in your mind at least. I know that it's difficult to think about anything else right now but please try and get your mind on something else. Can you do that?

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@alamogal635

Had a CY scan to check heart health. Int hat can was found a mall spot in my lower right lung. Had a biopsy done and it was early cancer. I could have waited and we could have watched to see what might happen. However, my doctor and I decided to get rid fo the thing and I had a lobectomy VATS surgery to remove it and the surrounding tissue. It was so small they think they got it before any spread happened. Tests show I am clear. My point is, if there is something suspicious, i'd have it taken out, especially while it is noticed early. With VATS surgery, the healing time was pretty fast and easy.I am due back after 6 moths for a CT scan to make sure all i clear. My doctor is pretty darned hopeful al is well. If you are comfortable with your doctor, see him about the results as soon as you and he are able to meet. It will reassure you. Hope this helps. I'm pulling for you!

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@alamogal635 Glad to hear that the early detection and removal made a difference for you. Good news!

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@hopeful33250 Thank you. Was simply trying to help the person who wrote above.

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thank you . your reply was encouraging and kind.
Can I ask , how long were you unable to do regular physical activities after the surgery? How long were you in the hospital? My personality-type and life experiences make me consider refusing all treatment except palliative care and maybe euthanasia. But that's because I believe the docs will only cut me up, radiate me to prolong a low quality life. It means a lot to hear real stories where people do come through lung cancer, largely healthy.

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sorry, i was replying to alamoga635

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@merpreb

@joelars– You are one lucky person! I envy you. Because of the lung tissue that I've lost due to lung cancer I do use an inhaler. There's a new one out that replaces QVAR and Spiriva called Trelegy. I only need to inhales a day, first thing in the AM! Even if there is nothing new that they might have for you, if it's been a while, I'd go for the check-up. If I've answered this post before I apologize. Have you called Mayo yet?

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Merry the doctor has given me trelegy and that could be the reason I am feeling better. Answers are hard to find come by but we try

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@jo54

Merry the doctor has given me trelegy and that could be the reason I am feeling better. Answers are hard to find come by but we try

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@jo54– I actually was very surprised that my breathing was better too! If you can get beyond the taste (I rinse my mouth) it's ok. It's also better than using 2 inhalers 2x a day! How does it make you feel better.

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@merpreb

@jo54– I actually was very surprised that my breathing was better too! If you can get beyond the taste (I rinse my mouth) it's ok. It's also better than using 2 inhalers 2x a day! How does it make you feel better.

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Merry I am breathing easier and I find that I am not grabbing for my emergency inhaler. In fact I had a stupid idea that I didn’t need it any longer when I realized I felt good because of it. Once in the morning and then rinsing the mouth and I am good.

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@joelars

thank you . your reply was encouraging and kind.
Can I ask , how long were you unable to do regular physical activities after the surgery? How long were you in the hospital? My personality-type and life experiences make me consider refusing all treatment except palliative care and maybe euthanasia. But that's because I believe the docs will only cut me up, radiate me to prolong a low quality life. It means a lot to hear real stories where people do come through lung cancer, largely healthy.

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@joelars Getting back to a semblance of doing most things took about a month int total. The main thing for me, was working on breathing so my right lung would learnt o compensate for its missing lobe. And it has! Yes, I was tired after the surgery, but I'd do things when I had energy–usually int he morning and then rest int he afternoon. I walked a lot around the back yard and slowly worked up to doing light gardening, etc. I was driving after two weeks and although came home on oxygen, was off it completely in about three weeks. It is doable and with the VATS surgery, the pain was tolerable at first and improved almost daily. I actually feel better than I did before the surgery. There were no symptoms prior tot he surgery and I would not have lucked out with doctors finding the carcinoma had I not gone for a heart CT scan. Hope this helps and I'll be glad to answer any other questions you might have.

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I had to have a follow-up chest x-ray because the last one disclosed an "infiltrate". i had my repeat x-ray Tuesday morning. My doctor's appointment was Friday evening to review the results. I sweated out that week. At my appointment today my doctor conducts a physical but never mentions the x-ray. Finally I insist on an answer. He looks surprised than admits he forgot why I was there but assured me the x-ray results would be on his computer and he'll read them now. Checking his computer he finds the radiologist never sent them, (amd my doctor never asked for the report). I'm assured he will track down the report next week (the radiologist was closed) and "good or bad" call me. This is another example of why I have no faith in our medical system.

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@joelars– And with this examples I agree with you. This is horrible. Looks like your doctor's mind was on something else. And so was the radiologist's. I don't know where you live or if it's possible for you to go somewhere else but if you can I suggest that you do. In my opinion this isn't just about having faith in the system but a break down in training, including protocols and patient doctor relationships among a few. Can you tell that I am furious for you? He came right out and said that he didn't know why you were there…. Oh man, I am so sorry this happened after all the anticipation.
I'm holding back with my fury. Are you ok? can you look somewhere else Joe?

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@merpreb
Hi. my name is larry joel is my middle name.
Thanks for the empathy.
I conclude that many doctors don't know how common lung cancer is in former smokers and also the "business of medicine" subsumes much of their time.
In defense of my primary (I like him) he didn't remember why I was there because the imaging company didn't send him the new x-ray. His procedure is common practice: when he receives a new test (often they're blood tests) he reads the reports and only when they contain abnormalities he calls me in. But this time (the only time) I scheduled the appointment to take place after the results were in regardless of the results. The "lucky" part is if I didn't, since I wouldn't have gotten "the call" I would have concluded the test was negative, when it's maybe positive, and that positive test would have sat in the imaging office indefinitely. Worse, as I developed symptoms I would have ignored them reassuring myself I recently tested "clean." and it is "only" my COPD.

I just read (on the net) 60% of new lung cancer diagnosis" come from ex-smokers. Of those 60% about 30% are people (in my group) who quit between 10-20 years. Moreover, my group's chances of lung cancer is still 7 times higher than a never smoker. Even 30 years after quitting my odds are 3x higher(that's as low as it gets).
I'm not even considering not getting cancer as realistic. I (have to) put my hope in early detection. My primary can't help much there. I would need to see an oncologist to arrange yearly scans? They would take it seriously?

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@joelars

@merpreb
Hi. my name is larry joel is my middle name.
Thanks for the empathy.
I conclude that many doctors don't know how common lung cancer is in former smokers and also the "business of medicine" subsumes much of their time.
In defense of my primary (I like him) he didn't remember why I was there because the imaging company didn't send him the new x-ray. His procedure is common practice: when he receives a new test (often they're blood tests) he reads the reports and only when they contain abnormalities he calls me in. But this time (the only time) I scheduled the appointment to take place after the results were in regardless of the results. The "lucky" part is if I didn't, since I wouldn't have gotten "the call" I would have concluded the test was negative, when it's maybe positive, and that positive test would have sat in the imaging office indefinitely. Worse, as I developed symptoms I would have ignored them reassuring myself I recently tested "clean." and it is "only" my COPD.

I just read (on the net) 60% of new lung cancer diagnosis" come from ex-smokers. Of those 60% about 30% are people (in my group) who quit between 10-20 years. Moreover, my group's chances of lung cancer is still 7 times higher than a never smoker. Even 30 years after quitting my odds are 3x higher(that's as low as it gets).
I'm not even considering not getting cancer as realistic. I (have to) put my hope in early detection. My primary can't help much there. I would need to see an oncologist to arrange yearly scans? They would take it seriously?

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Larry, I would suggest scans every 6 mos. I am a breast cancer survivor. Mine was found because of scans every 6 mos. I had one nodule and a wedge resection. 6 mos. later, 2 more nodules were visible but too small to biopsy. I am now getting a scan every 3 mos. waiting for them to be large enough to biopsy. My next scans are next week. I too am a former smoker but only quit 8 yrs ago. Before I can have treatment, they need to determine if it is lung cancer or breast cancer since I have had both.

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@joelars

@merpreb
Hi. my name is larry joel is my middle name.
Thanks for the empathy.
I conclude that many doctors don't know how common lung cancer is in former smokers and also the "business of medicine" subsumes much of their time.
In defense of my primary (I like him) he didn't remember why I was there because the imaging company didn't send him the new x-ray. His procedure is common practice: when he receives a new test (often they're blood tests) he reads the reports and only when they contain abnormalities he calls me in. But this time (the only time) I scheduled the appointment to take place after the results were in regardless of the results. The "lucky" part is if I didn't, since I wouldn't have gotten "the call" I would have concluded the test was negative, when it's maybe positive, and that positive test would have sat in the imaging office indefinitely. Worse, as I developed symptoms I would have ignored them reassuring myself I recently tested "clean." and it is "only" my COPD.

I just read (on the net) 60% of new lung cancer diagnosis" come from ex-smokers. Of those 60% about 30% are people (in my group) who quit between 10-20 years. Moreover, my group's chances of lung cancer is still 7 times higher than a never smoker. Even 30 years after quitting my odds are 3x higher(that's as low as it gets).
I'm not even considering not getting cancer as realistic. I (have to) put my hope in early detection. My primary can't help much there. I would need to see an oncologist to arrange yearly scans? They would take it seriously?

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@merpreb as a follow-up, I don't want to appear self-righteous or hypocritical when criticizing medical providers. I'm a lawyer. None of us, me included, can extricate ourselves from conflicts of interests inherent in professional relationships. In this case, that doesn't excuse the imaging company. They hurt their self-interest by not faxing the report and gained nothing.
But doctor's are used to not having to memorize the details of a patient's history and they rely on the specialists who provide them the reports they interpret for us. Without that report my doc wouldn't know that I had the x-ray.

Although, wouldn't it be nice if in addition to the numerous computer generated messages reminding you of your appointment they took a moment to think about why you are coming, and not just worry about a no-show, missed fee?

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