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Does anyone know how well a CT Scan can image your lymph nodes?

adman's picture
adman
Posts: 258
Joined: Jul 2012

I'm looking to better understand how well a CT Scan w contrast can see the lymph nodes in the body. I'm sure someone on this list has some understanding of this.
I was speaking to a friend [ offline - yes I do have a few of them ] and he asked the question. Made me start to think. That's not a question I have asked.

I know Jeff [ MedScanMan ] probaly knows :). Anyone Else's perspective would be appreciated.

Mine were not taken out so obviously this was something my path report didn't speak to.
I was given a " pNX " diagnosis. I never did fully understand why they didn;t remove them around the Kidney since they were in there. I believe it had something to do with what the Urologists sees and makes a judgment call at the time. Something to do with NIH guidelines or something. Not sure, but am curious.

Thank you.

Wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!!

Enjoy!!

~M

MedScanMan's picture
MedScanMan
Posts: 108
Joined: Jul 2012

You know I very rarely rely on Wikki for truth....but this is a very good explanation of what lymphadenopathy is and what can cause it. CT scanning can definitely show this in the neck in the chest abdomen and pelvis. This is a much better explanation than I could ever give.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lymphadenopathy

Jeff

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Looking at the possible causes - what a collection of nasties, definitely not to be read just before dinner - actually makes me quite glad I got mine via RCC!

adman's picture
adman
Posts: 258
Joined: Jul 2012

.....much appreciated as always. Gob Bless!!

Eliezer2
Posts: 56
Joined: Aug 2012

As far as I know, it sees them very well

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Jeff, isn't PET/CT the preferred modality?

MedScanMan's picture
MedScanMan
Posts: 108
Joined: Jul 2012

When a PET/CT scan is done as opposed to a PET alone, the radiologist is able to superimpose the two scans on top of each other. It does so much more than just visualizing lymph nodes. There is no other scanning that can show the spreading of any cancer as well as a PET/CT. Since nuclear medicine was not my area of expertise rather than calling the person where I worked who did this scanning, I did a little googling and read a few papers. I think you're going to love what's at this link. Since RCC is what we're all interested in, this article will tell you why doctors like PET/CT both pre and post op. After reading the abstract, I learned that even pre op it can help the surgeon decide his operative plan. I learned quite a bit from just a few minute4s of reading here.

Jeff

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3126050/

adman's picture
adman
Posts: 258
Joined: Jul 2012

as always, very much appreciated!! Not sure what we do without your help :)

God Bless!!

~M

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 393
Joined: Feb 2009

After the original Dx at Stage IV, which also included the removal of a set of nodes behind the R. kidney, R. kidney and left half of my liver, I was scheduled for a CT every 3 months.
Between the 9 mo and 12 mo. CT there was a change in a single node. It was in the fossa where the kidney had once been, but attached to the aorta and the duodenum. Very delicately, it was removed thru a 4" incision over the top of the previous years slice.
My oncologist thought I should have CT's at 6 mo intervals, so back I went for December and May. Between the two CT's there was a change, with a node growing behind the bifurcation of the inferior vena cava in the low adbomen (where it splits to go down each leg.) Another surgeon added to the length of my scar tissue and incisions.

Both of the single nodes had gone from unremarkable to under 2 cm in the times between CT's. And I'm around to tell you about it 3 1/3 years after the most recent surgery. So yes, the CT's do "catch" stuff. I also know I have a partially collapsed lung from the liver removal, lots of clips to tie off vessels, cysts in the other half my liver and in my pancreas, an hemangioma in my liver, a deteriorated disc at L5, and miscellaneous metallic objects in behind my bladder (the titanium screws that backed out of the mending plate after my ribs were spread,) but who cares? As long as the Radiologist(s) can recognize the bad guys, I'll be happy.

CT's are expensive (especially in a smaller hospital on the West Coast), and the contrast/pre and post hydration can be a pain in the ---, but I don't like the alternative.
Hang in there.
Donna

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