What kind of scans for BAC check up 19 years out?

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 10:04

I had BAC in 2000 at age 46.  They removed my RUL and RML for a 10 cm tumor.  This was followed by 7 weeks concurrent chemo and radiation because of a 0.1mm margin.  Yes, I am 19 years out.  YAY!  Now age 65 and retired.

 What kinds of scans should I be getting on my yearly check up?   I've been just getting a chest x-ray evey year for last 10 years, but wondering if I need an occasional CT or PET?   Otherwise feeling fine.  Is there a standard protocol ?  

JanineT Forum …

Hi Blaze, welcome to Grace. 


It's a standard practice for people with a history of lung cancer to have yearly screenings with a low dose CT.  The exceptions are those who would not benefit from curative treatment.  In the article I linked below it states if you unlikely to be able to withstand surgery then you may not benefit from the screening.  But stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) isn't being considered here as a curative treatment which it is (though there's no data what the percentage of time cure is acheived with SBRT). 


In general you want to ask yourself what do you hope to benefit from finding the cancer early.  Low dose CTs give much more info than an xray so you can catch cancer earlier.  But if you can't treat with curative intent then why find cancer sooner rather than later?  You'd want to treat as lightly as possible to live life for as long as possible (which today stage IV nsclc can be many years and even moving towards something of a chronic disease). 


But yes if you can withstand even SBRT then a yearly low dose CT should be covered by insurance.  (sometimes the insurance co has to be reminded to pay as a standard/routine test)


From Mayo Clinic


Hope you stay cancer free.

All best,