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Can I bet my life on a PET scan?

rick1
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2002

Hi,
I've been diagnosed with a lung nodule which is 2.5cm in circumference and smooth, I'm 44, smoked for 12 years, quit smoking 7 years ago. The nodule is currently indeterminent. Everything I have been told and literature I have read states that PET is approximately 93% accurate. I think that I should have the nodule removed and not even take the 7% chance that the PET scan misses a malignancy and I have more problems as a result. I know that only I can make the decision, but I would be extremely greatful for any opinions that you could provide.

Thanks in Advance,

Rick

michaelcie
Posts: 133
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi Rick, I would definitely go with the pet scan! Take any test that will give you the upper hand on this disease. I've had this test done and it is not much different than a ct scan and the pay-off is worth it. I think that the doctor has to justify this with your insurance company so they are surelyl on your side to request this test. Well this is all I can add, good luck and God bless. Mike

evans
Posts: 12
Joined: Jun 2002

Rick,
I am unclear as to what all tests you have had performed - but if you are saying you have had a PET only and it does not conclude it is malignant - I guess I would see why a needle biospy could not also be performed. Risk of collasped lumg exists by performing the biospy - but that was a piece of cake relative to the surgery to remove a portion of one's lung. I'd opt for an additional test to get a concurrence as to it not being malignant - then celebrate! (and follow up again in 3 months)

betty2
Posts: 91
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi Rick, I too had Lung cancer when I was 53 They didn't do a pet scan as I remember They did x-rays and cat scans and they did a biopsy on my lung but couldn't reach the tumor so until they operated on me we did not know if the cancer was really cancer. it was, so I suggest that if they can not find if it is malignant with all the test's go for the surgery then you know for sure.
I know this has been since November that you were on the web sight so I would be intrested in finding out what you found out. I had cancer in both lungs 3 1/2 years apart and they removed 1/2 of my left lung and a little better than 1/4 of my right lung. The last surgery being in 1991 and the first in 1987 so you see its not a death sentence everytime. let me hear from you.
email me at jodnns@aol.com Betty 2

rick1
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2002

Hi Betty, The surgeon "thinks" the nodule is benign from looking at the CAT scan. I have opted to have the nodule removed on the 23rd of December. Having read the posts on this and other cancer news groups I have discovered that if I take the wait and watch approach as my doctor recommended, it could be disasterous. I hope I'm making the correct decision. Thanks for your reply.

Rick

betty2
Posts: 91
Joined: Apr 2002

Rick, You are smart to go for the surgery, I think. I know I would not fool around with anything that even half way could be cancer and especially Lung Cancer. Its so silent until its too late usually. I will keep you in my good thoughts and Prayers on the 23rd. Where is the tumor located? The surgery is not gonna be fun but it will be a relief to know for sure. The reason I went to the Dr. the first time I had lung cancer was because my feet were swelling, so you see it can rear its ugly little head in many ways.
Good Luck, and I would love to hear from you as soon as you can get back on the computer after surgery.
Betty 2

rick1
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2002

They did a wedge resection of the nodule on the 23rd. The tumor was diagnosed as carcinoid. Apparently its a very low grade malignancy. I will be scanned next week to insure I don't have any more of these in my body. Looks like I might have lucked out.

Donna
Posts: 23
Joined: Dec 2002

My Dad had a PET scan done on 10/25. It showed cancerous activity in the right and left lungs and in the chest lymph nodes. The doc ordered a biopsy of the tumor in the left lung because he wasn't sure about it. The biopsy turned out negative for cancer! We were estatic! Then they said they needed to biopsy the right lung and it turned out to be cancer. After this the doc said he needed to do a mediastinoscopy to biopsy the chest lymph nodes. These also turned out positive for cancer. I guess the PET is useful for showing the doctors where to start but apparently biopsies are needed to confirm what it shows. Hope this helps.

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