While my surgeon was re-doing my plumbing during my RNY in late June of last year, he happened to see a pencil-eraser-sized growth on the outer surface of my small intestine near the junction where he was forming my bypass "Y". He excised the growth and sent it off for a biopsy.
The pathologist reported that the tissue was that of a small-cell stromal tumor, which, in his opinion, was non-cancerous at the time. Nevertheless, I was referred to an oncologist a month or so following my RNY. Apart from some blood work, this new doc ordered a CT scan of my abdominal area.
I recall that drinking two 400-cc bottles of that disgusting phony-banana-flavored contrast solution was more than a small challenge (considering that my "stomach" was about the size of a golf ball in those days), but that otherwise the scan was uneventful. A follow-up with the young oncologist revealed that the radiologist and the hospital's "cancer committee" found no evidence of further tumors. That's the good news. There was, however, a faint "shadow" on my liver, and so I was scheduled to have a second CT scan after six months.
The second scan produced no new results, although the "shadow" on my liver was apparently still observable. So now I am scheduled for a third CT scan, which will take place tomorrow. My follow-up appointment with the oncologist is set for Thursday morning.
So, my main question is: what should be my reaction if the doctor wants me to have a fourth CT scan? When does the recurrence frequency of high-dose x-rays, such as that experienced during a CT scan, begin to pose a higher-than-acceptable risk of actually causing a cancer or other adverse outcome? Is two CT scans every year, if that's what I hear is recommended, too many?
Are there any informed folks out there on this forum who have a fact-based opinion on this issue?
Learning to swim was easy. The hard part was getting out of that burlap sack. Those rocks were heavy.
High: 310 Surgery day: 282 Goal: 190 Current: 178