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Unread 07-13-2004, 04:09 AM
CT Scan

Hi Everyone,

I shall soon be coming up to my 6th session of Chemotherapy (Carbo-Taxol). That and the two before have had to have 4 weeks between them instead of the initial three due to my white blood cells not recovering in time.

As my CA125 has always been quite low, even before my Hysterectomy and removal of my ovaries due to Ovarian cysts, the Doctor has said they cannot go by that to tell how I am doing. They have said they can only go by what I have to tell them on how I am. The Doctor has said they might do a CT Scan when I have completed my course of Chemotherapy.

What I want to know is what happens during a CT Scan and what will it find out. I am a bit worried because I tend to be a bit Claustiphobic sometimes.

Hope someone can help.

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Unread 07-13-2004, 04:18 AM
CT Scan

Hi Tubs;
A CT scan is not bad. It is an OPEN "circular tube like thing". (I don't know how to describe it). The 2 I had done, both times they started an IV and injected dye into me. It gives you a warm like sensation and you may feel as if you have to urinate but, you don't.
The hardest part for me was having to hold my breath. A computerized voice will tell you "Don't breathe" then after several seconds (but felt like for ever) it will say "Breathe". It did this several times.
The space you lay on is narrow and they will give you a pillow, leg support and a blanket if you so desire. The CT san will show them imaging of your insides, of the things your doctor wants a better look at.
It is nothing like an MRI that is enclosed. No reason to feel Claustiphobic!
Hope this helps you!
Best wishes to you!
Unread 07-13-2004, 04:19 AM
CT Scan

In my opinion, a CAT scan is one of the greatest diagnostic tools that was ever invented. It allows the doctor to see INTO your tissues, not just the bones like in a regular x-ray. I've only had a CAT scan of my sinuses but I work in a hospital where we do several of them a day. If you are claustrophobic please contact your physician prior to the scan and let the technician know of your claustrophobia before you go in. Your doctor might be able to give you a mild anti-anxiety pill prior to the test. The technician is able to see you and usually talk to you during the test. If they know about the claustrophobia they can help you deal with it. Some CAT scans require a contrast dye to be injected into your veins to get a better picture of what is going on. The CAT scan will be able to tell your doctor if the chemo has worked on the tumor, (i.e. stabilized or shrunken the tumor size). There is almost ALWAYS some amount of anxiety surrounding a CAT scan so don't be afraid to ask your physician for a little help.


Jean U.
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Unread 07-13-2004, 06:53 AM
CT Scan

The Ct scan is m ore like a doughnut that you pass through - and - usually your head stays well out of it.

Tell the tech you are anxious. If you can't or don't want to take anxiety meds (they may insist someone drive you home), it can help to ask the tech to play your favorite music or radio station, and to keep talking to you.

They're really not too bad

Unread 07-13-2004, 09:32 AM
CT Scan

I had 2 CT scans....one in the diagnosis stage and one before radiation. Like DorrieL and Sybie said......the CT scan is like a big doughnut. The table you lay on is narrow, the injection is not bad.
The good thing for you is that your head stays out and you don't feel entombed in the contraption....in other words....as they are scanning the abdominal/pelvic region.. the table slides in through the doughnut shape....when they are through with each pass the table comes back out.....

I don't like enclosed spaces either and this as very doable. Good luck!!

Unread 07-13-2004, 10:14 AM
Great Info. Above on CT Scans

You will have contrast to drink first and sometimes that can cause diarrhea in people--not bad but it can happen. Just be aware of this. You may want to be near a facility afterwards or go straight home. The scan itself doesn't take long and it is open, not like MRI. You'll hear a whirring sound. The CT can see so much that it is a very valuable tool and worth having whenever the Dr. recommends.
Unread 07-13-2004, 02:01 PM
CT Scan

I had one before my surgery. You shouldn't have to worry about claustrophobia. The scanners today are very fast. They'll postion you, tell you to hold your breath, then move you through the donut thing. Your head stays out. Relax, you will be absolutely fine. Don't even let yourself get worked up about it.
Unread 07-13-2004, 04:18 PM
CT Scan

The cat scan after the treatment ends is to establish new baselines to which your future scans will be compared. Even those of us whose cancer is CA-125 reactive will have this.

I, too, don't really have a problem with the CT scan. You drink this stuff that is mixed with Tang. By the second or third quart, it gets a little tough as your eyes start to float. With my second (or third) CT, after I was brought into the procedure room and had the last little bit to drink along with the injection, I was laying (lying?) on the board and started to feel nautious during the scanning. That was tough because here is this machine whirring around me, telling me to "Hold my breath" or "Breathe" and I was ready to bolt, thinking I was going to toss my cookies.

Well, those nurses/techs have a bunch of tricks up their sleeves. The next scan I had, I reminded them about the nausea. This time, right when they were giving me the injection, the nurse said to hold an alcohol-soaked wipe right up to my nose and to breath through the cotton. Boom! That nausea was gone immediately!

Pretty cool, I thought.

I'm really just sharing that to let you know that you can be surprised while you're undergoing the scan, but there seems to be a lot they can do to make us more comfortable.

Good luck to you, Tubs. I'm sure you'll do fine.

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