The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

NWhat can I expect from CT/chest Scan? How good are they? (New here, scared)

Hi. I recently had to seek private medical help away from the NHS. There are many reasons for this: Mental health being one of them, and not being believed for weeks. Symptoms were put down to anxiety etc.... Anyway Something was found and I have been referred for a ct of the chest on Friday. I am terrified. I have had chest/back/rib pains for several weeks. I was a heavy smoker. I am using all my savings to get this checked properly - you cant really put a price on your health. Needing much support and advice. Cheers. Hazel

4 Replies

Hi Hazel, I'm sorry to read about your problems, but I can say from experience, I have nothing but praise for the NHS, I have never been a smoker, but my doctor sent me for an x-ray, then after seeing a consultant had a ct scan, pet scan a ct guided biopsy, then was admitted to Guys in London for a Lobectomy! I had never had surgery before so didn't know what to expect. All this happened between Christmas and Easter last year, and in May 2011 had my operation. I am glad to say a year on I am doing well and on some medication still, but getting there. Stay focused and positive and I hope things look up for you. Take care. Glinda


Hazel. The CT scan will start the diagnosis process for you and going private at the start will at least start the process asap and relieve some anxiety. When you go for the private consultance ask WHERE further diagnosis and treatment will be on offer by going private, BUT also if the same is available on the NHS. After all, for most of it you might be seeing the same people at the same hospitals. Many hospitals are very good and you have a right to go wherever you want for treatment. YOU will then have to research the best place for you and fight to get their treatment through the NHS. It is often a struggle, but empowering AND you feel invigortated because you are taking charge of your treatment. After all "without hope you cannot start the day" and remember fighting to get the best treatment is fighting for your life.


Hi Hazel,

There are a number of benign conditions that can manifest in the pains you describe and also show up on an X-Ray, so it may not be a malignancy.

The good thing about a CT scan is that it can detect a tumour the size of an eraser on the end of a pencil. When detected early a malignant tumour is more treatable, so that is a good thing.

The unvarnished fact about a CT scan is that it is a significantly greater exposure to X-Rays. However, the potential benefit must be balanced against the potential dis-benefit.

It is good that you have got to the initial stage of a CT scan right away.

The procedure is painless.

Wishing you well.



I can understand where you are coming from, I also visited my GP numerous times over a 10 month period before I got a diagnosis. I wish I had had the forethought to go privatly earlier.

Even though you have paid for this privately, if it does reveal something that needs treating the you can have the same tteatment on the NHS. If (and I hope it isn't) cancer, the time span to treat you is exactly the same weather you go private or have NHS treatment. I would have NHS anytime.

it usually takes 2 weeks to get the results of a CT scan. Try not to worry, you don't have any answers yet. Hang in there and if you need someone to talk to just ask

Lyn x


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