I have to disagree with you on your post concerning pet scans. I work in a radiology dept. and have discussed with many of the docs tests that I have needed since my cancer diagnosis. I was diagnosed on 3/17/03 and saw a general surgeon that day who told me I did not need a pet scan. (This was not a major cancer center.) The radiologist who read my cat scan said that a pet scan was the gold standard of treatment and not utilized like it should be. Luckily my oncologist ordered the pet scan. I saw a surgeon at a major cancer center for a second opinion, he also requested a pet scan. He was an oncology surgeon and who I chose to do my surgery. Since then I have had 2 more cat/pet scans. The radiologist said if anyone ordered a pet scan later on they would have something to compare it to.
A pet scan is not 100% and there are false positives. There was an area of concern on my last cat scan, which was followed by a pet/cat scan. It came back as positive, but some of the docs thought it was scar tissue. I was having surgery and the area of concern was removed and it was indeed scar tissue.
I think if someone is diagnosed today and there docs don't order a pet scan they should find a doctor who will.
I am sorry that this is so long.