Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stage IV Frequency of scans?

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  • #20923
    SusanB
    Participant

    Hi,

    I’m a new member here. I had Stage I in 2000. Frequent check-ups after my surgery and a few pre-melanocyric lesions removed over the years. Then, three months ago, I went to the doctor with abdominal pain. The scans suggested ovarian cancer. The Gyn oncologist was very surprised when he performed the surgery and learned the path results. The large mass was a melanoma tumor on the ovary and wrapped around the blood vessels to my right leg. Subsequent PET scan and brain MRI showed no evidence of disease, but I did have a course of radiation therapy to destroy microscopic cells that wouldn’t show up on the scans. I am BRAF negative.

    My medical oncologist is recommending scans every six months. I am getting on with my life, but there is a part of me that is afraid of what is going to pop up next. Do you think scans every 6 months is frequent enough?

    Thanks!

    –Susan

    #58486
    msue5
    Participant

    Hi and welcome. The Melanoma center I go to and my local Onc reccomend Pet or Ct every 3 mos for the first 2 years. My previous Onc who closed his practice actually alternated Pet and Ct every 3 mos to cut down on radiation. I liked that regimen but my new Onc likes Pet only because it includes the brain. Good luck and you will find lots of info and emotional support here.

    Mary Sue

    #58487
    buffcody
    Participant

    I’m surprised by what Mary Sue says here about PET including the brain. I have been under the impression that PET included the head but not the brain (not sure how that works) and an MRI was done on the brain in order to shield it from radiation. Can anyone clarify this for me?

    #58488
    msue5
    Participant

    My understanding is that the Pet won’t show much detail in the brain but if anything looks suspicious an MRI will then be ordered. I am scheduled for a Brain MRI soon even though no symptoms are present. Since my melanoma keeps progressing and shows up a little higher each scan my Onc wants to make sure the brain is OK. I don’t expect anything to show up.

    Mary Sue

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