Cancer Chat online community
Anyone with head and neck cancer had a full body scan?
I had a scan when I was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer but just head to upper torso was reported on, even though the whole body goes into the machine. I could well understand why some people feel claustrophobic.
Hello. Yes I had a PET scan about 10 months ago just before I had surgery on my mouth (squamous cell carcinoma between my front teeth). Unfortunately I am about to have another tomorrow as I have developed cancer in the lymph nodes on the right side of my neck. Let me know if there are any questions I can answer.
Sorry to hear it's in your lymph nodes. Best of luck tomorrow. Where are you having your PET scan?
Well thank you. It is OK - I'm not as traumatised about it as when I found out I had to have my front teeth and jaw bone removed the first time around. I had the scan done at the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane, Australia.
I will be going along to a specialist head and neck multi-disciplinary team at another hospital on Friday for them to put their heads together and decide my fate. It was very hard to diagnose that the SCC had moved to the lymph nodes - I even had to have two biopsies to get a result.
But, I would rather know the shape of what I am up against instead of walking around with a vague feeling that something was wrong (and getting worse) without anyone being able to tell me what it was.
Let me know if you want more information as am happy to discuss (and as I say, I'm not too emotional this time around).
I went to Doctors in September 2008 with a rubbery lump on my lymm nodes. First diagnosis was that it was not cancer but the lump had to be removed
Prior to that i noticed the lump in June 2008 but put it off because i was going to visit my daughter and family who live abroad.Operated October to remove lump.
Biopsy back squaisna cell cancer, very shocked aftre being told it wasnt cancer.
Another op in Dec to remove all glands on the right side and to look for primary . (3 glands had cancer cells rest they removed were clear)Primary found on tongue near where i used to have tonsils. Now having chemo and radiotherapy.
Only Cat scan i had was head, neck and chest. I would have oreferred a full scan for piec of mimd.
A 0.6cm cancer cell was also found on the careen. I am hoping Chemo will sort it.
Prior to this very healthy, dont smoke and only go out 3 times a month for a drink.
Does anyone know can I get a full body cat scan privately of the NHS dont do it?
I wish you well with your forthcoming treatments etc. You give such a helpful and positive feedback from your experiences please continue to contribute to this thread as I am sure it will be useful to other members with similar conditions. Best wishes, Rodis.
Thank you to both of you for your comments. In terms of cost in relation to the query where you can get full body scans privately, I don't know what it is like in the UK but in Australia these scans are very expensive and time consuming, so it seems to be the big one the doctors pull out of their pocket when things look nasty and they need to act. I know the one I just had was AUS $1,000, of which our Medicare system will give me back $900.
However, would you be under the treatment of a specialist? I am sure they would be sympathetic to the psychological trauma that you may have and put you up for a scan, even if it is just to help you to move on rather than to act upon.
The gland story told is interesting as I too had been told not to worry too much "they're within the realms of normal" as they got progressively bigger. I also had a lot of upper respiratory track infections after my surgery last year (I blame the endless antibiotics!) but just knowing how hard it is sometimes to definitively find the cells is incredible. I don't see how they could have hidden through CT scans and the first biopsy done. But there it is. So go for it if you have a suspicion of something is my advice and don't settle for compromises.
Best wishes. I'll let you know how I go tomorrow with the speed-dating with the doctors to determine my fate.
By the way, I would like to hear from you as to how you feel without those lymph nodes.
After the second op i got celluilitus and upper airway infection (whilst in hospital). I insisted on seeing a physio about 2 weeks after the op because my shoulder was out by about 2 inches and my neckwas very tight. The physio workeed wonders although i still get aches in the morning but my shoulders at least look the same now. She gve me exercises and showed my wife how to do the neck massages. After the chemo etc, i plan to go back to the physio fro further treatment.
I want to get back to work as soon as possible but as my job is very challenging i need both sides of my body to work.
Not really had any problems yet without the glands, but its early days yet. I feel well but i never had any sickness before i found the cancer. Any pains etc have all come from the operation and its effects.
I am very positive at the moment and wish you well.
Thank you again Kwwest - what is your name - seems strange calling you that. My doctor called tonight to let me know the PET scan showed there was onlythe cancer in the neck lymph nodes and nowhere else in my body. This has made me feel bouyant as I was concerned it may be elsewhere. Your story about the physical effects of the surgery and treatment are sobering, but then again, I have had to adjust to living with my lip not being the same on one side to the other and not having a lot of infrastructure in my mouth that I had this time last year! I'm sure we can cope with most of this stuff. It's just awful though how it takes over your life and those close to you. I hope you can get back to work soon.
Will let you know what treatment I have in store after having my speed dating event with the 15 doctors at the hospital tomorrow.
That is good news, and you'll be better off staying buoyant!!
I was amazed to see the cost of a PET scan is AUS$1,000 In the UK (assuming you go privately) it costs at least £1,500! Do the coversion on that and it's seriously expensive. Typical insurance company not paying for all of it too.
Best wishes, Chuck .