CT scan - min. time possible till next scan ?



My husband's has Stage IV cancer, but had surgery which surgeon got everything at the time cleaned out he thought.

Put on Keytruda.   Clear for last 5 months.

last CT scan showed one enlarged lymph node... went from .8 cm  to  2.5  cm in 3 months, it is suspected as cancer.

Dr. said get another CT scan in 4 - 6 weeks to see what the node does, but that is a big diff. of 2 weeks.

MY QUESTION:    considering the cancer is histiologically  aggressive type,  if we get the scan at exactly 4 weeks, should

that be enough time for the node to show  a difference if it is cancer?   

I want it done As soon as possible but don't want to not give it enough time and it comes back inconclusive. 

JanineT GRACE …
Posts: 628
GRACE Community Outreach Team

Hi Varvara,  Welcome to Grace.  I'm so sorry the know about your husband's situation.   The real question about scanning is how the results will change treatment.  If there is still the possibility of a cure or more robust suppression then the sooner that is known, the better.  Then, how reachable is the node for biopsy.  If it is reachable, 2.5cm is likely to be diagnosable.  Another question is how likely the enlarged node due to normal workings of the lymph system. 


To your question, an aggressively growing cancer that is 2.5 cm will likely show change at 4 weeks.  If the enlargement is due to infection it would most likely return to normal in 4 weeks. 


I hope this is infection.  On a personal note, my husband had a 3 cm nodule that was in all likelihood cancer progressed from the opposite lung.  Biopsy caused traumatic lung collapse and was undiagnosable (not the first) so it was decided to treat as progression.  However, without radiation or surgery, it healed.  He's not had progression in 7 years post treatment.  So no matter how likely something is cancer, it isn't without tissue proof (sometimes when it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it isn't a duck).


Keep us posted.

All the best,


I joined GRACE as a caregiver for my husband who had a Pancoast tumor, NSCLC stage III in 2009. He had curative chemo/rads then it was believed he had a recurrence in the spine/oligometastasis that was radiated. He's 10 years out from treatment.