Lucky catch during surgery; now what?

on 8/7/11 5:51 am - Los Gatos, CA
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

on 11/9/11 3:46 am - Germantown, TN

Not sure about the radiation from the CT's.  I'd say you would be okay, and I would be better safe then sorry.  I hope it all turns out okay for you! 

Cathlena - 39, 4'11"   Start - 210  3/31/09    BMI  Start: 42.4    
 LilySlim - (OdX3)
on 12/30/11 10:13 pm - NJ
I had a similar experience.  I had sleeve surgery on 12/27/11.  While inside the surgeon discoverd a 1 cm leasion on the portion of the stomach that he was removing.  He told me that it looked benign, but I won't have final pathology results for 1 week.   Little bit nervous, but grateful because if I didn't have the surgery they wouldn't have found the growth at this early stage.
on 12/31/11 4:12 am - Los Gatos, CA
That's sort of the way I felt, too.  Funny how one thing leads to another, often completely unexpected.
Since that time (a little more than a year and half) I've kept regular 6 month appointments with an oncologist.  He had me get CT scans for a while, but after three with no indications he's going to let me skip the scan for my February appointment.  Just blood work.
Good luck to you, both with your weight loss and your lack of cancer.  Happy New Year, too.
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

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