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British Lung Foundation
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CT scan Saturday...very frightened

Hi...I posted previously about a small lung opacity being picked up by x-ray. I have got my appointment through today for my ct scan...its on Saturday.

I'm pleased it's so soon but have no idea what to expect, and am terrified of the outcome. There's part of me thinking this time next week my anxiety and panic may be over, but another part which thinks I will be told it's lung cancer. I still can't eat or sleep and can't stop crying.

What is the CT scan like? How long did your results take? Did you ever have opacities show up on x-Ray and have a clear ct scan?

Thanks x

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Evizza...... I was always told when awaiting hospital appointments..... no news is good news..... so try not to worry until you get your scan results. I know it's easier said than done but you may be worrying about nothing

Don.

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CT scan is quite quick. I had one with contast (it can feel a little odd, I just felt a warm rush up my belly which quickly disappeared) and two without contast. Without took 10 minutes, with took a good 20 minutes. You just breathe in and hold breath when asked. Results can take 2 to 4 weeks. CT scans are done to get a better view and you needn't be worried about it.

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I quite like that warm rush you get, it's nice.

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yep :)

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Hi I'm very claustrophobic but the CT scan was fine for me so I worried then realised I didn't have to. Very open and basically you lay there and a voice says thinking like 'breath in' etc. It's like being on a table doing yoga. If I remember correctly I think there was air blowing gently but I could be wrong.

Like you I worried about the scan and at the same time worried about the results. I was a useless wreck who couldn't sleep or eat. Th results took time to come through. Unsure but not that long. A week or two weeks can't remember and my consultant talked with me about what they saw. It's the radiologists who send the report and images to the consultant.

I had no idea what to expect. No one knows until they know. I work along the lines of how I actually feel and feeling ok helps me think I am doing ok regardless of what it might be.

I reckon everyone we know doesn't know what's going on inside of them. I'd sit and think, well they don't know and they don't know etc. I suppose we are 'lucky' (sort-of ish) as we are being looked after and cared for. That's the only way I can handle not knowing.

Anxiety is a terrible thing. I eventually got 1mg of diazepam to take and that took the edge off it for me.

I hope you feel better about things soon. Easy to say but hard to do - I know.

Big hug x

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hi evizza,

I don't know anything about small lung opacity (just a crushed lung). I do know about ct scans, (i've had 3 and most other things done to me in the xray department. ) and worrying about how it could be cancer (I've been told it could be cancer in 4 different parts of my body and been told I have pre cancerous cells in another, but so far still healthy ish!).

I'm telling you about me because you can see I can say I kinda know how you feel. my first ct was scary, all I knew was what it looked like on the internet. I had no idea and i was terrified!.

There is one piece of advice I have for you about worrying, sit somewhere without disruptions, work out on paper, the worst scenario and the best. then work out what is positive in your life, family, friends, home, pets etc. Whenever the negative thoughts come in, stop and listen to them (the more you ignore them the larger they become), then say (this will become a lot easier with time ) “No!, the best outcome is going to happen because I have .............”( go to the list you wrote,) think about all the positives in your life. No matter what the outcome is you will still have all them positives in your life and I know that this sounds corny but if you have the support and love of others I do believe that that is what is worth fighting for, not giving up to the pesky negative thoughts!

It really depends on your hospital, one I went to was old, the machine was old and incredibly noisy but the staff were amazing. the noise was incredible but the whole process was smooth as silk.

the other hospitals had much newer machines, very quite, one let me bring in a cd and play my own music. all the staff i interacted with where amazing.

You go in, change into the regular gown, get on bed and have a blanket over your legs and a thing around your head (when you have a ct on your neck to stop movement)they then either manually or the machine moves the bed into the tunnel. some machines are smaller then others, but I was quite large at the time and I fitted fine. if you want it they pretty much constantly talk to you reassuring you, if you need to get out at any time they can stop and they pull you out within seconds (one time I had to get out).

It all will go fine, whenever I go for a x ray or ct or anything I don’t want to do I just think, in the greater scheme of things its only x amount of time and i’ve spent much longer (excuse my vulgarity but) picking up poo off the street after my dog which is much more unpleasant!

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Just a suggestion. I always look up new procedures on YouTube. There is nearly always a video showing you what happens. There are numerous reasons for lung opacity on x-ray and it can due to minor causes. The worst way of dealing with it is to pre guess the result. Try to avoid Dr Google and self diagnosis. A number of people on the site have had CT scans but as nearly all of us have lung conditions very few of use will have had clear CT scan. In my case I had a normal x-ray but abnormal CT scan and from what I have been reading the opposite can be true too!

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hi evizza,

The scanner is just like a very large ring doughnut you lie on a table that will raise to the correct height, put your hands and arms behind your head, the table then moves into the ring feet first until it is in the correct position with your chest inside the ring. You are told to hold your breath, for about 8 seconds and then told to breath normally, you may be asked to do this twice.

A tip, when asked to hold your breath try to just fill your lungs about 3/4 full. it is easier to hold your breath than filling them as much as you can, practice this at home to find the point where you can do it comfortably for about 8 seconds. The time to do the scan itself is only 5/6 mins

You will also be asked to remove any metal objects from your person, which will include a bra with it's wires if you wear one. Simple really, nothing to worry about, the machines can be a little noisy and might sound a bit like a jet engine winding up to speed and back down again, nothing to worry about there either. Result waiting time varies, usually a week or two.

Just in case, if a PET/CT Scan is ordered afterwards it is a similar machine but takes a bit longer, about 20/30 mins. With no breath holding. Plus there will be an injection with an hours waiting at rest for an hour whilst your body absorbs it. Again not a big issue at all. I hope that puts your mind at rest about the procedure.

I know just how you feel I have been there myself, 3 times in a year, only to find that they have been false alarms, but better safe than sorry. Easy to say don't worry in retrospect but try distracting yourself with a hobby to take your mind off it, or read a couple of good books.

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Thank you everyone for the support. I'm not nervous about the CT scan now, just the outcome x

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I too was worried my abnormal X-ray was tonight be Cancer as my Dad died of it. CT scan showed it wasn't. Please try not to panic ☺

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Oops predictive text turned 'was going' into 'tonight' lol

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