Not to be morbid but....: just found out that I... - CLL Support

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Not to be morbid but....

gemit2000 profile image

just found out that I am comorbid. Few weeks ago I took a Coronary Artery Calcium Score test & got some morbid (and shocking) results. Now to further test my coronary artery disease I am getting a nuclear stress test. I just wrote to the cardiologist's office as to whether, given my cancer diagnosis, it would be better to get an echocardiogram after reading that the isotope used carries a risk - though very minor - of cancer. Wikipedia says "As the tracers used for this test are carcinogenic, frequent use of these tests carries a small risk of cancer.

Any thoughts on differences in image quality vs. risk based on your knowledge and/or exeperience would be much appreciated.


7 Replies
Cllcanada profile image
CllcanadaTop Poster CURE Hero

I have had 3 MUGA scans of the heart and a PET all with radioactive tracers... they pass through fairly rapidly...

I don't see it as a big deal, but I also have had 32 CT scans and massive radiotherapy to my spine.

I still don't glow in the dark... as I had hope... 😜

Yes tracers carry a tiny risk of cancer ... as does gamma radiation from space that is all around us...

I was in the middle of treatment for a Richter's transformation so we passed on the Stress test, since I had issues even walking... let alone running...

Stress Test Mayo

MUGA scan..


gemit2000 profile image
gemit2000 in reply to Cllcanada

Yes, the gamma rays are the reason I never go outside unless wearing my multi-layered urethane coated nylon suit with of course my helmet.

Actually not usually a radioactivity worrier throughout what must now be over 100 dental and orthopedic X-Rays but now after my first CT scan for my heart followed up by this "unknown nuclear test, my internal radar (or should I say Geiger Counter) came up especially thinking back to the long series on CT scans written about on this site.

But got a long way to go to get anywhere close to your 32, and anyway I could use a little glow these days that have recently become a bit too morbid for my liking.

Thanks as always Chris.

MsLockYourPosts profile image
MsLockYourPostsVolunteer in reply to gemit2000

I have had the nuclear test twice over the years. The treadmill test is out. I flunked it right away. I get echos regularly to monitor things. A stress test shows different things from an echo. I trust my cardiologist to determine which tests will give him the information needed to give me the best care without overdoing things.

That's my instinct too but a friend who recently had a stroke & needed a stress test rejected the suggested nuclear test due to previous cancer and got an alternative test.

I Just met the cardiologist for the first time and spent a total of 5 minutes with him so trust is hard to build in those circumstances. But guess instead of letting him earn my trust I'll just start out by giving him total trust. Then after enough time I'll see if he's kept my trust. In the meantime I'll just swallow his advice (or take it intravenously).. Thanks Ms. L

MsLockYourPosts profile image
MsLockYourPostsVolunteer in reply to gemit2000

Dealing with new doctors is hard. It takes a little time to develop trust, though I have dumped several after one appointment, because I knew that the trust would never be there. My cardiologist is fabulous. He was, in fact, the person who's instincts caused him to get a bone marrow biopsy for me (old days before blood tests would have been used) which led to my diagnosis.

Don't jump ahead to morbid thoughts. My stress test results were good, (other than that treadmill) and my echos show that my mitral valve prolapse is stable and has been for many years.

only jumping ahead to comorbid thoughts thinking how I'm no longer fit for the the younger, fit, 13q deleted, mutated group for whom FCR is still de rigueur.

And I may find out I'm the opposite of you, easily able to do the treadmill since my exercise for past years has been sprinting (engaged in senior game track events and 3x/week softball where I sprint around the bases) while the scan could find some heretofore unknown arterial stenoses that predicts an unpredictable cardiac event ahead. But until then I'll try to think happy thoughts, not morbid thoughts... or at the very worst comorbid thoughts.

"mutated" Gene

JigFettler profile image
JigFettlerVolunteer in reply to Cllcanada

32CT scans... with iv contrast?

And I am worried about my 4...

That's a perspective Chris.


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