I received from 2010 periodic ultrasound examination in the regional hospital, supplemented by a chest radiograph. Initially every three months, but then once every six months. In the summer of 2013 they found at the ultrasound one small deviation. However, I should not be worried, because that was possible due to fluid accumulation. So when afterwards it turns out that there are several large tumors present in your body of about 80-90mm diameter, it knocks your socks off.
Especially if, in retrospect, it appears that these new tumors have gone unnoticed for at least a year. And the bewilderment is complete when the oncologist during a first interview in the Radboud MC in Nijmegen,to which I was send in the meantime, directly indicates that a CT scan is much more suited to establish GISTs.
Why was that diagnosis technique is not applied directly? In the treatment of cancer a year can make a lot of difference.
You then ask yourself whether you should have searched for the best diagnostic technique yourself, to discuss it with your doctors. That indeed might have been an option, if there was reason to doubt the doctors. However, in the determination of the first tumor they already applied different scan methods, including an MRI scan, CT scan, and ultrasound. No reason then for not believing the doctors at the local hospital if they indicate that a new tumor would be timely visible with a periodic ultrasound scan. And in addition, the chance of a new tumor was also particularly small. That first tumor was completely removed after all, and no traces were left. Everything was clean.
Nevertheless, I search what an ultrasound and a CT scan actually mean.
Diagnostic sonography (ultrasonography) is an ultrasound-based diagnostic imaging technique used for visualizing internal body structures including tendons, muscles, joints, vessels and internal organs for possible pathology or lesions.
In physics, ‘ultrasound’ refers to sound waves with a frequency too high for humans to hear. Ultrasound images (sonograms) are made by sending a pulse of ultrasound into tissue using an ultrasound transducer (probe). The sound reflects (echoes) from parts of the tissue; these echoes are recorded and displayed as an image to the operator.
X-ray computed tomography (X-ray CT) is a technology that uses computer-processed X-rays to produce tomographic images (virtual ‘slices’) of specific areas of a scanned object, allowing the user to see inside the object without cutting. Digital geometry processing is used to generate a three-dimensional image of the inside of the object from a large series of two-dimensional radiographic images taken around a single axis of rotation. Medical imaging is the most common application of X-ray CT. Its cross-sectional images are used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in various medical disciplines.
In all honesty, as an absolute layman in the medical field this tells me nothing. It is in my opinion therefore only logical that you therefore should trust your doctors. Because they are medical experts. At least, so I thought.