Chest X-ray?

Hi Everyone, hope you're all ok and hopefully getting some spring sunshine!

I've had an appointment come through for a chest X-ray next week, had one in Feb before starting MTX and now this one after 9 weeks of taking it....I was just wondering if this is part of our monitoring whilst we're on the drug as it seems fairly soon, tried ringing to find out but as yet no answer! I would be grateful for any replies on how often others who are on MTX go for a chest X-ray?


Maddie :)

26 Replies

  • Mmm, as I remember it was jst once before the treatment. Did u have a chest infection or anything when they saw u last visit after starting treatment? maybe that's why they r checking.

    Or maybe two referrals went for X-ray and you don't really need this one, just an admin error? I would call ur Rheumy helpline and as them why and do you need to go. Whatever way hope it's working for you, are u starting to see any benefit? Xx

  • Hi Allanah, thanks for your, I didn't have a chest infection and I was told the X-ray was fine, this appointment arrived out of the blue they didn't mention anything about having further chest X-rays, I did ring my Rheumy helpline on Weds but they haven't got back to me, will try again Monday. I'm doing ok on MTX not noticing much improvement but it's still early days and I have an appt in May with the Rheumotologist. Hope you're feeling ok xxx

  • No I only had the one prior to starting MTX. It's probably an admin error as Allanah says. They wouldn't have let you take MTX if it had been anything serious I'm sure. Tilda x

  • Hi Tilda, thanks for your reply and hope your feeling a bit better. You're right and that's what I told myself that they would'nt have let me take it or continue to take it if anything had shown up...well hopefully not i hope, nobody contacted me when my white cells were low... a lesson learnt there!! :) xx

  • I've never been offered a chest xray, something I think I'll raise at my next rheumy appointment. It does sound possibly like you've been sent this in error so checking is wise.

    Paula x

  • Hi Paula, thanks for your reply! Yes I think you're all right and it's possibly an admin error, I did some digging around on the net and didn't find much apart from that you should have a chest X-ray before starting MTX so I think you're right to question why you didn't have one before starting it. Best wishes Maddie xx

  • I agree with Tilda Paula, they seem very lax and you certainly should have had an X-ray before the mtx, one reason is to establish you don have latent TB, and you don't seem to get seen very often. Time to read the riot act with them and trekking them how dangerous this omission could be xxx

  • Paula I do honestly worry about your rheumy set up. I was given a chest x-ray after my first rheumy apt four months before I was diagnosed - I asked what it was for and the radiologist said "methotrexate - it's just standard". Tilda xxx

  • This is a bit of a worry really. I'd be interested to know if anyone else on mtx has not been offered Xrays.

  • Maybe the time has come to get tough with your rheumy dept Paula? Wait you are feeling well enough after Monday's op and write to them. An I right in thinking the consultant has only seen you once since diagnosis a year ago or more? And you have just been left still in pain/ active RA on a middling dose of MTX? And now this chest x-ray business? Its a good job you haven't had anything bad happen with your chest isn't it? Mind you if you had you could have sued! Xxx

  • I saw the rheumy May last year when he said I had RA, not seen him since but had regular follow up with specialist nurses...3 monthly. I still have discomfort in my joints but assumed this was just normal and what I should expect from now on with RA, is this not the case? I had a quick look at guidance and it said you "may" be given an Xray?? Given my history of asthma which has seen me hospitalised on a couple of occasions you would assume I would be screened. You're right Tilda, I need to toughen up when I'm fit enough after my op. Sorry to hijack your thread Maddie x x

  • No worries Paula :) I just find it concerning that we get told different things by our medical's good though that we have this site so we can all compare notes! Night..sleep well xx

  • Goodnight x off to bed myself now x x

  • Paula...would let you have my extra one if I could! :) xxx

  • Not wanting to get you wound up Paula. Once diagnosed a consultant needs to see you more frequently than this for the first few years I think. But I'm not in a position to talk about that really as I've only seen mine once and another once since diagnosis November '11 and I don't have a rheumy nurse as you know. Drugs have been tweaked and introduced via GP though. Tilda xx

  • As your last x-ray was fine & no infection perhaps this is a belt & braces approach? In which case my trousers are falling down as I've never been offered one despite having smoked for two and a half million years. Just as well probably!

    Mind you, my Rheumy dept. seem to be very averse to x-rays generally. Good luck with mtx - 9 weeks is early days.

    Luce x

  • Two and a half million years!!! so funny, this made me laugh :-)

  • Thanks Luce for your reply and hope you're doing ok over the loss of your dog. That's defitnetly another way of looking at it they could be checking up on me after a few weeks of taking MTX to see how I'm coping lung wise??? Smoking for 2 and a half million years very funny :). I gave up nearly six years ago it was so hard!! xxx

  • Thanks for remembering dog - her hairs are gradually filling the hoover, signs of her being erased .... but we're okay, thanks.

  • Definitely find out who ordered it and why before you have it. You don't want to be having any more xrays than you absolutely need to, because radiation doses do accumulate in your body over your lifetime. 8 months also seems a bit of an odd time frame to do a routine repeat. If you can't find out quickly what it has been ordered for (and whether the person ordering realised you had already had one recently), then just see if you can postpone it for a couple of weeks until you can find out.

  • Hello....thank you for this! I hadn't even thought about the radiation effects and don't want to be having an X-ray if I don't need to. I m going to ring the helpline again tomorrow and if no response will ring my GP, if no response from them I will do as you say and postpone it. Xx

  • The important thing would be to figure out who ordered it (xray department should have the request form that says that), and then whether the person ordering had realised that you had already had one. It might be something the GP could find out for you, if you can't. Or you could get PALS to try and find out.

  • Thanks Earthwitch for your valuable advice, I'm seeing the nurse on Tues for bloods, so if all else has failed I might be able to ask a GP whilst I'm there - the worrier in me thinks why do I need another X-ray so soon - but the more rational part of me says they wouldn't have let me start MTX if there was a problem and I have no chest problems that I'm aware of!! Thanks again Maddie x

  • it isn't huge amounts of radiation, but the way I figure it, is that it accumulates over your lifetime, and I'd rather save my radiation "allowance" for things like if I ever needed a CT scan for a possible stroke, and try and avoid xrays for things that aren't strictly necessary or where a different form of imaging would be more useful (like ultrasound or MRI). CT scans have a huge amount more than straight xrays. Hand and feet ones have probably the least amounts of radiation.

    I really don't undrstand why they don't keep a running total of "radiation units" from each xray we have, - a bit like radiology technicians do (with their little detector badges). It would be quite simple to do, by having a score for each type of xray. Doctors in the UK do seem a bit better than some countries though - I've heard folks in the US having massive amounts of xrays, loads done at a time, and repeated often.

  • i had my first xray at my first appointement when i was dignosed last august, however i was then sent for another xray as something showed up which was nodules on my lungs so now i have to have them every 3 months. call and find out why they want you to have another xray. good luck

  • Hi Micky, thanks for your reply! I've been for the chest Xray just waiting for result now, it's to do with a bone in my back... Just a shame they couldn't have told me that before appointment arrived! Hope you're doing ok and what are nodules on your lungs? Good luck to you too, Maddie x

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