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PET scans

Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi y'all, as you know, or maybe not, I'm fairly new to all this. Where I should be going itno week 5 of radiation, I'nly finishing week 2, due to hospital interruptions. What is a PET scan, and should I ask ny doc when they start? Thanks, Melodie

mp327's picture
Posts: 3350
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Melodie--

PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography) are done by injecting radioactive glucose into the patient. After about an hour, when the glucose has had time to go throughout the body, the patient is scanned. The glucose is attracted to cancer cells, thus, if there is cancer in the body, that area will "light up" or show as activity when the scan is read. Often times, things missed on a CT scan will show up on a PET scan. I had my first PET as my staging scan before I started treatment. I presume that you were staged using CT? Yes, you should ask your doctor about PET scans, but please know that a lot of ins. co's. will not approve them, as they are more expensive than the CT's. I believe the usual time for a scan following the conclusion of treatment is 3 months, but don't quote me on that.

Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2010

Thanks for the info. He hasn't mentioned this, so I just wondered. Melodie

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