Types of scopes/exams

Good morning, all:

Kelly had her 6 week exam, it was a manual (digital) exam and the rad oncologist said he cannot feel any tumour, only scar tissue.  He will check again in 6 weeks.  That's it?  A freaking manual exam?  What about these scopes I've read about... don't we have them here in BC???  Is Kelly likely to have any other kind of scan in the future (e.g., PET) that might more accurately determine if the cancer is gone?  





Janice, Maggie sent you a hug.
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My experience is that this cancer is mostly invisible with scans. You can’t make the difference between scar tossue and tumor or cancer tissue. All my body was saying PAIN, PAIN. But we could not see the cancer, PET SCAN, CT. Months went by without help because they couldn’t see the cancer. I was dying. Finally, a very experienced radiologist did a biopsy. On 5 probes, 2 were cancerous... I’m on chemo right now. I asked for a CT. My oncologist agreed after 6 months but told me that I might be disappointed, cancer will remain invisible. So don’t worry, but Make sure that your specialist be aware if you have acute fatigue or pain. It might tell a lot about the growth of cancer. All my wishes that your cancer is irradicated.
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Hi Lily! 6 weeks is actually about as early as I think they would even do a manual check...still healing! Here in the US it does vary but the guidelines for this cancer are anoscope/manual exams every 3 months at first the every six months until typically you are 5 years out. As far as CT or possibly Pet scan...I actually have never had a Pet..only CT...is done every 6 months at first and then yearly until they cut you loose at 5 years. Definitely ask what the follow up protocol is..but they should be keeping a pretty close eye at first for sure just to make sure the treatment did its job. Then it's a matter of making sure the beast stays gone !!
❤️ Sara
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Can any Canadians weigh in on whether you've had an anoscope exam? Especially BC people.
Canadian here - Eastern Canada: anoscope exam every 4 yo 6 months, but it never showed.
Thank you. I hope at some point they will use an anoscope for Kelly. I will tell her to ask.
At 6 weeks; that would be about right for digital. Then at 3 months, I had a anoscopy. You can check the NCCN.org guidelines for the US standard aftercare.
Some people get scans or PETS earlier; I didn't have one for over a full year after. Actually, I just looked it up and they've messed up my record.
I also looked up the NCCN.org guidelines and this is the basic:
*DRE every 3-6 months for 5 years
*Inguinal node palpatation every 3-6 months for 5 years
*Anoscopy every 6-12 months for 3 years
*Chest CT with contrast and pelvic CT or MRI with contrast annually for 3 years

I'm just doing DRE (digital), palpatation, and anascopy every 6 months, now.
I'm glad she is finished with treatment.
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A PET scan was used to make my diagnosis at the start. After the standard treatment I was prescribed a PET scan every three months for the first year and a half, then 2X/year, then CT scans once a year for the last two years. That was the protocol at UCLA, and my insurance paid for it. Sending positive energy your and Kelly’s way.
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BTW, I’m 5 years out and NED thankfully!
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I had a PET/MRI 6 months after end of treatment. It showed a tiny spot but they said that it was still inflammation from radiation. I was told that if it was done any earlier then they wouldn’t be able to see anything because of inflammation.
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I did have a scope pretty soon after, but it was not planned and I was much less sore than they expected. I agree that it is typical to do it 3-6 months post treatment. Also my scans never detected the cancer either. I feel like they do that to check metastasizing in the lymph nodes and other areas maybe?
As has been said, the NCCN guidelines helped me to know what to expect.
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I’m nine years out and primarily have been checked by manual tests...as others have noted the various scans are not always reliable. Key ie an examiner who does know the difference between scar and cancer tissue ..
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There can be lots of inflammation for the first 6 months, while the radiation is still working. Her doctor may not want to do a scan yet because of that, which will show up on a PET scan. It's best to check the current NCCN guidelines.
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Vital Info


May 30, 2019


Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

April, 2019

Stage 3


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