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3/11/2018 6:18am
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Replies: 2

After being diagnosed with stage IV because my tumor was identified as a secondary coming from somewhere else, all my news has been good. All my scans were clear and after the second surgery to "clean up" the pathology showed clear margins. I started Opdivo two weeks ago and will be having that every two weeks. Another question comes up. How often will I have scans and what kind of scan will I be having? Or is that recommended? Curious. Thanks everybody. So far the Opdivo is treating me okay after one treatment I got some serious body aches for a couple of days but that was it! 


ed williams - (3/11/2018 - 9:21am)

Hi Ted, it can range depending on hospital and Oncologist. If you are in a clinical trial they tend to do them more frequently to help make the data more accurate. The trial that I am on followed a 6 week schedule of Ct-scan with contrast injected into vein, the after first year they switched to every 3 months and has remained that way for the last 3 years. I still have a small tumor showing up in my lung and last week we finally got approval for a Pet-ct where they inject a radioactive sugar solution into your arm then after about an hour do a Pet-ct scan. If it works properly, anything that is more metabolically active will show up and they combine the positron image(the radioactive sugar gives off positrons) with the ct image and if the tumor lights up, then you still have active cancer. They measure how active by an uptake # which can range depending on how much sugar went to that area. In the early days is it always good to push for a brain MRI, since Melanoma loves to visit and create havoc in the brain. Glad to here things are starting off so well with the treatments, many on pd-1 drugs have mild reactions of skin and GI issues. Just make sure to let Oncology team no if anything pops up, since it is much easier to control adverse events if caught early!!! The FDA just approved 4 week dosing schedule or 2 week schedule, which might be more convient for you. Best Wishes!!!Ed

gopher38 - (3/11/2018 - 10:22am)

I had my first MRI scan, which thankfully came out clean.  Not for the claustophobic.  I tend not to get stressed out by those things, but I was still happy to have the emergency bulb, or whatever they call it.  Asked for music during the scan, and was suprised to hear a drug commercial in the middle of it.  Good ol' USA. 

Best part was talking to the tech afterwards, and she asked what I was there for.  I said, melanoma IIIC, and she said: "I'm IIIB".  Turns out she had melanoma ten years ago, followed by interferon treatments.  She looked great, so that was heartening.  Interesting that after 10 years, she still said " I AM IIIB", not was.

Hope the Opdivo works great for you.