Can I insist on getting scan done?

I was diagnosed with aggressive Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in September 2012. I had a surgery and chemotherapy treatment. Thankfully, the treatment did help and since March 2013 I'm in complete remission. Now all that needs to be done are just regular check ups. The doctor who is looking after my case runs blood test every 3 months and performs physical examination. So far the results has been really good. But I am not convinced... The reason for that is, in my case, cancer was diagnosed very late ( Stage IV) back in 2012 and during that time my blood test results did not show any evidence of cancer.. It was not until I had noticed swelling of my abdomen. Then the scan was performed and a very big tumor was allocated. Nowadays, from time to time I start panicking cause find it difficult to rely fully on the blood test results. I asked my doctor to get the scan done for my own piece of mind, however, she refused saying that "only when you feel that something is wrong we will do the scan". So, can I insist on getting occasional scan done about once every 6 months?

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3 Replies

  • I'm so pleased you are in remission and things are looking good.

    I fully understand why you would like the reassurance of a scan, and think you have to stress to your doctor that you DO feel something might be wrong, precisely because you were not easily diagnosed.

    Point out that you feel very concerned and need to have your mind put at rest. I think when that has been done, you might feel less likely to want to repeat scans too often as they carry their own risks, but would encourage you to negotiate this one for your peace of mind.

    Very best wishes,


  • There's two alternatives: switch your doctor (I did); and/or pay for a scan privately yourself - use Google to find the nearest hospital that will do this (in the UK the cost is about £200 I think).

  • I don't think there is anything wrong in you pushing for a scan, in fact I think your doctor is wrong for refusing one.

    If your bloods are not showing up the results in an expected way than your treatment cannot be a standard procedure. Keep asking for the scan and continue to have them until you feel reassured, because it is your piece of mind that needs reassurance, not your doctors. Generally I have seen that doctors try to avoid spending money on scans where possible. If this is the case and you continue to be unhappy with your treatment then, as Zarathrustra mentioned, you can always go private or see another doctor who understands your concern.

    Aside from that, well done for battling the Lymphoma in the first place! Especially late on, keeping positive is the best treatment.


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