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PET Scans?

wlkdnose
Posts: 45
Joined: Jun 2011

My sister's oncologist does not want to do a PET scan. He doesn't like them for Ovarian cancer. I was not with her at the appt so I didn't get a chance to ask why. Did you all get a PET scan? Do you recommend one?

LaundryQueen's picture
LaundryQueen
Posts: 682
Joined: Mar 2011

Well, maybe the doctor doesn't have time to convince the insurance company that she really DOES need the test. It's probably a better test than an MRI or a CT scan for active cancer.

mom2greatkids's picture
mom2greatkids
Posts: 512
Joined: Jun 2011

I am having a Pet Scan on Dec. 8. My first one was in June before I began chemo. I'm also having CT scans that same week. My doctor prefers the Pet Scans, as they show the cancer at a much earlier stage than does a CT. Also, it is a full body scan. They are expensive, so many insurance companies do not want to pay for them. My doctor gets on the phone and fights the companies for what he believes his patients need. I don't understand why any dr. would not prefer the pet scan.

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2010

My medical oncologist told me the same story, saying that CT scans are better at identifying ovarian cancer. My gyn/onc, however, says he has more to look at with a PET scan. From what I can decipher, some oncologists don't want to be in bad graces with the insurance company by recommending a PET, or they just haven't had much luck with getting them approved. A PET scan definitely shows more than a CT. Actually, when you have a PET scan they also do a CT scan at the same time (actually just before the PET scan part), so they can overlay the hot spots from the PET scan onto the CT scan. Otherwise, they would not know where the hot spots were in the body. I've had primarily CT scans, but once my primary care physician order me a PET. You may have to go through another doctor to get one.

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1057
Joined: Nov 2009

I prefer PET scans. Although certain insurance companies will deny it even if the doctor orders it. The protocol is CT scan first and if they see something then PET Scan. To me, thats a waste. Go to the PET Scan first. I only started having trouble with this when we switched insurance companies.

On another note, there are some reasons why a PET scan wouldn't be better. That would depend on whether or not your sister is a diabetic. Since the PET scan uses isotopes with sugar (I am not sure the exact name but basically that is what it is), cancer is attracted to sugar so the radioactive sugar will "light up" on scans. However, in a diabetic person, you may get false positives.

Further, you get less radiation with PET scans than you do CT Scans. I have had at least two CT scans a year since 2005, MRIs, Xrays, PET Scans. I rather do the PET scans. Also, there are PET/CT Scans available too.

Kathy

poopergirl14052's picture
poopergirl14052
Posts: 1151
Joined: Nov 2010

my gyn/onc told me this was her personal standard of care.They arecovered by most insurances. Good luck...val

zenisthou's picture
zenisthou
Posts: 26
Joined: May 2011

My oncologist never ordered CT scan, he always order PET scan which supposed to be more accurate on detecting cancer activities, theoretically...

Wish the best to your sister.

Tracy

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