CSN Login
Members Online: 17

Oh, Oh. New Question

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

  I got a question. It may sound dumb but it may clear up a lot of things for a lot of us. I know when we get CAT scans they are checking for any uptake that may be present in the lymph nodes. The question is will it show any activity in other organs of the body as well. I am refering to cancers such as pancreatic, lung,prostate colon,liver,stomach, etc.etc. The tumors in the organs are usually hard and have their own feeder system. As stated before in another post this makes them harder to treat. Lymphoma feeds right from our blood supply and probably rather quickly at that. If the CAT scan can detect these so called organ cancers maybe we are one step ahead of things. Early detection I have always heard is the key to defect this crap.

 I know when I get my results,depending who is doing the reading there is often mention of unremarkable on these organs. Sometimes,depending on who is reading there is no mention of it.  John

merrywinner's picture
merrywinner
Posts: 620
Joined: Aug 2009

I hope you remember me! LOl....and in answer to your question, I don't have one, but have been counting on my CT scans to be picking up anything else that could be abnormal! Therefore I put some tests off and have not been told this is wrong based on my reasoning. However I have not been told this is right either. I better check more into it. Good to see you here! Mary

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Hey Mary,

I could never forget you. You were the first to post to me if you remember way back when. i read the post everyday, but post very rarely anymore. I just don't know how to answer people anymore. it seems they are coming up with a different type of Lymphoma everyday. There is actually only one other person still posting from when I first posted almost 3 years ago. There are others on here that are a lot more informed than I am so thats why I asked that question. I even asked the Onc.nurse and she was kinda vague in her answer. I guess I should ask the Dr.  but maybe I am afraid he would be vague too. There are a couple of people on here now that seem to be really informed about things like that. Maybe they will answer if they know.

  I hope you are doing well. I know this stuff never leaves our mind. We never know if or when it may come back. Hopefully never. I think sometimes thats why people disappear after awhile. They go a long time without any bad signs and then get on with their lives. I can't blame them for that.  Maybe cutting ties with the site makes them feel more free to get along with their new normal life. Like I said I do not post to often, but I am here everday. Be talking to you and hope things continue great for you.  John 

NANCYL1
Posts: 225
Joined: Jun 2012

Cobra:

You are asking a very good question and I do not think that a medical person, nurse or doctor, should be vague.  I have an appointment with my oncology doctor on Tuesday and I am going to ask him.

Nancy

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Nancy,

  I agree with you. It surprised me when I asked the nurse and she was so vague. I even asked the Radiology tech and he said that it is something I would have to ask the Radiologist or possibly the Onc. Dr. This started to put some doubts in my mind of what would these scans show. Just how much do they reveal or not. I am sure a lot of people have wondered the same.  John

Folks24
Posts: 96
Joined: Feb 2007

Well scans do show other "parts" besides what they are specifically scanning for. 

They caught my lymphoma when they did a CT scan of my chest. It picked up the liver area and I had a spot there I shouldn't have had. After a PET and biopsy, they found lymphoma in two places. I had no symptoms either. I am very very glad they found it. Early I hope.

Folks24
Posts: 96
Joined: Feb 2007

Well scans do show other "parts" besides what they are specifically scanning for. 

They caught my lymphoma when they did a CT scan of my chest. It picked up the liver area and I had a spot there I shouldn't have had. After a PET and biopsy, they found lymphoma in two places. I had no symptoms either. I am very very glad they found it. Early I hope.

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

   I  totally agree with what you are saying, but I have been on the site for a long time and never heard anyone say another type of cancer was detected while being treated for Lymphoma. I know that is agood thing. They give me a radioactive injection and a sugary cocktail about an hour before the scan. Just wondering if that is enough time for the sugary drink to be ingested by any organ tumors if they were present. I have heard the hard organ tumors have their own intra-structucture within our bodies. If thats the case it may take longer for them to absorb nutrients. maybe I am just thinking outside the bun, Idon't know. All kinds of thoughts go thru my head sometimes. I am sure a lot of people on here are the same way at times.   

cathyp's picture
cathyp
Posts: 366
Joined: Dec 2009

Ah...Ct scans.  I had numerous CT's starting 23 years ago to stage and then check for Hodgkin's Lymphoma and recurrences.  I had so many that they stopped because of the enormous amonts of rads from treatment and these CT's.  In the past 5 years, I have had emergency scans done and it showerd lung nodules, for one.  So this snow balled into many more tests and eventually... they are just stable lung nodules.  Then, I had a protrusion on my pancreas noted on a CT and did that ever snow ball.  Many pancreatic screenings and further testing.  So now I have a stable pancreas protrusion. 

So what I'm trying to illustrate, in my experience,  is there are tremendous pros and cons to CT's.  Of huge concern is the radiation your body is subjected to.  As you know, radiation may cause secondary cancers.  Also, they pick up everything in your body.  It may lead to false positives, what happened to me numerous times.  Every time my docs and I were chasing something, I felt I shaved years off my life worrying.  Of course on the other hand, they may pick up a problem in the early stages. 

So it seems you and your doc need to discuss the pros and cons of a ct as it relates to you situation and how far you are out of treatment and if you are having bothersome symptoms.  I don't believe CT's are done routinely for the various reasons I have pointed out.  In my case, if I have a persitant symptom, we will do an MRI, (no radiation invovlved) and take it from there.

Good luck John sorting this all out!

Cathy

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Cathy,

  I do not have any problems. I was just wondering what the radio-isotope they inject along with the sugary cocktail shows other than any uptake in the lymph nodes. I don't want to be thinking The PET/CT scan after injection and ingesting the cocktail can detect any other cancers in the body when in fact they can not. I hope thats not the case though. I know there is a lot of radiation from PET and CT scans.  As a matter of fact I get the Pet Scan when they are following up. Wish they would slack off and make them farther apart. John. 

yesyes2
Posts: 461
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi John,

Don't know if you remember me as I rarely post anymore.  But like you I do follow the posts.  For me I just had my 3 year anniversary and remission from rchop on 2/15.  Yeah!!!

In answer to your question, yes PET/CT can find cancers other than lymphomas.  For me, 2 months after a negative mammogram my routine PET/CT picked up a small area of uptake in my left breast.  A breast MRI and biopsy followed with a diagnosis of state 0 breast cancer.  I also know of someone who's diagnostic PET for staging her lymphoma also found a liver and a lung cancer.  The injection of radioactive sugars are very attractive to hungary and fast growing cells, ie. cancer cells.  I believe that is what causes the increased activity on these scans.

I agree with others like Cathy, that it's best to speak with either the radiologist or your Oncologist.  I have learned through experience to have two radiologists review all my scans.  Mistakes have been made in the past.  That includes missing the BC for 6 months.  And I also do not do PET or CTs any longer because of the large radiation exposure.  If there is a recurrance my body will have symptons and than I will do scans but not until then.

Good luck to you John, and your continuing remission.

Leslie

  

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Leslie,

  That is great they caught the breast cancer early. The PET/CT scans evidently do pick up other types of irregular growing cells. I have been wondering about it for quite a while. Like you I do not post as much as I used too either. I do read the post everyday. And Yes, I remember you quite well. Good luck with the remission and hopefully it continues. "Maybe" a few more will jump in to answer  John 

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3154
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi John,

 I just had a conversation with my Onc about this very subject. I was wanting to know if my scan in March would show if there is any new cancer activity in my body.My reason for asking was because I've had a nagging sore throat for the last 3 months and also found a pea size hard lump on the inside of my right cheek. He said if there is active cancer in either area, it would definetely show up on the scan. Then I asked him if cancer is in any of my organs would it also show up on the scan, which he said yes. He said if all is clean, we would do blood work every 3 months and no more scans until something new shows up. He said my body will tell me if anything new starts up...un-explainable fatigue...pain...fevers...loss of weight, etc, etc. If my blood work is good with each 3 month draw, we would then have to rely on physical symptoms as a warning for new cancer or relapse. From what he says...scans cover just about everything. Hopefully he is right! Take care, and thanks for starting the conversation on scans...it's good to hear everyone elses thoughts on the subject. Love...Sue

(FNHL-2-3a-6/10)

anliperez915's picture
anliperez915
Posts: 742
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi John,

I totally understand what you're asking. I've also wondered myself, it's good to know that Ct/Pet scans can pick up other types of cancers. I've had the wonderful fortune of having two very vague Onc dr's (joking), I can ask all the questions I want but it doesn't mean I'll get any truthful answers lol! Anyways thank you for posting this question! Take care and Huge Hugs To you!

Sincerely,

Liz

GKH
Posts: 288
Joined: Jul 2012

As it is explained to me a CAT Scan and CT are the same thing and measure relative tissue densities. Standard Uptake Values are measurements of how much of the radioactive sugar a region absorbs and are associated with PET scans. Normally you get a low dose Ct scan with a PET scan simply to help locate the areas with high SUV from the PET. The answer about the other cancers is definitely yes, they do show up. The faste they are growing the higher the SUV. Actually indolent lymphomas like mine grow slowly and sometimes do not "glow" in a PET scan.

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

  Hey Members,

   I went to the Onc.Dr. today for a follow up appt. I go every 3 months as a routine. They did blood work and other lab work. I then saw the Dr. and I asked him this question. He said," If you have any active cells in your body anywhere the isotope and sugar mixture that you drink about an hour beforehand will make any cancerous cell in your body light up like a Xmas tree." I then said that kind of puts us a step ahead since early detection is the key. He said it sure does, but you don't want to have the scans too often. They are not healthy. Then he said all your blood work looks good like it has for 2  years now so we are going to cut you back to once a year for scans.  John 

onlytoday's picture
onlytoday
Posts: 585
Joined: Jun 2010

John,

Great news!  Thanks for letting us know how awsome your follow up went and i'm so glad you got an answer right from "'the horses mouth" about the CAT/PET question! So happy for your great report!  Also glad that your doc is sensitive to how often to do these tests.  I love it when a doctor understands that the testing can become overdone and actually dangerous after a while.  When they strike a balance and get it is just great- which is what your doc is doing!

I just got back online ( had visited my daughter for 3 days!) so I didn't see your question until today.  We are fortunate that we have had every thing scanned and had every abnormality looked at.  Unlike "healthy" folks.  Although I have always thought it would be helpful for everyone to get scanned head to toe at least once. 

My brother had head and neck cancer 4 years ago.  Got rid of it with chemo and rads.  Goes for his follow up PET/CAT every six months and low and behold they found a small lung cancer.  Got 5 days (!!) of rads and he's considered cured! They caught the lung cancer so early that they got it all!  So he's obviously not on the one year plan yet for scans but hopefully they can cut back soon.   Pretty cool huh?

I go for my 3 month follow up (in PR) of watchful waiting.  I expect blood work and an exam.  My doc is (thankfully) sensitive to the radiation issue from scans.  She hasn't committed to just an annual but does try to hold off with them as long as she can based on my exams, symptoms etc.  Good doctor.  No.. great doctor!

Very happy for your great report!!  May you continue to enjoy your beautiful grandaugter and GREAT HEALTH!

God Bless

Donna

 

 

 

 

 

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Thanks to everyone that responded to my question. It shows that people are really interested as to what we are having done to our bodies.  John 

cathyp's picture
cathyp
Posts: 366
Joined: Dec 2009

So now I'm cofused! You first asked aboit CT scans.  Injectable dyes, or an oral contrast agent may be given to enhance your organs and body structures. If you are consuming glucose with an isotope I think you are talking about a PET scan, not a CT scan. Surprisingly in 23 years I've never had a PET scan.

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Cathy,

  I was not trying to confuse anybody. It seemed like most of the people on here have CT scans and not PET scans. I only had 1 CT scan in my life and that was when they noticed the swollen lymph nodes. This led to the PET scan and isotopes and sugary mixture. This confirmed what was going on. The biopsy determined the type. As time went on I started wondering about if other cancers would show up or not. Some people on the site including you confirmed it would. I asked the Onc. Dr. yesterday and he also assured me it would. He said the isotope and sugary mix would light up any area that was active. I did not ask him about the CT scan because I do not get them. That may be a good question for someone to ask. Also why is 1 type of scan better or different than the other.   John

cathyp's picture
cathyp
Posts: 366
Joined: Dec 2009

Oh, I see!  You were asking about PET scans!  Well, hopefully we'll all be symptom free and never have either one again!

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Yes...That is the bottom line for us all. I just feel so bad for the ones that have this to look forward to in the future. We weren't the first and we darn sure will not be the last. The good thing is they are coming up with advances everyday it seems. John

GKH
Posts: 288
Joined: Jul 2012

If only your MD was right for all cancers. He is mostly correct for fast growers. However many indolent lymphomas light up very little and are difficult to differentiate from background. The "brightest" node on my PET scan was 2.4 SUV while my normal healthy liver was 2.0 . Large B-cell, Hodgkins or other fast growing lymphomas show 15 SUV  or even higher. This is doubly true for slow growing cancers in the bone marrow - very hard to detect with PET. I had 26% cancerous cells in my marrow but nothing glowed in the PET scan. They were not sure anything was wrong with me and in fact they told me I probably did not have cancer. I heard that story for 3 years. After a biopsy some months after my PET I was found to have Stage IV FNHL with bone marrow involvement. I will always insist on biopsies in the future. Also unfortunately for me, early dtection does not increase overall survival rate for FNHL patients. Its a disease that can be managed but not cured. I am very thankful for Rituxan even though I am having some serious side effects. I still have my life and am enjoying it. Next scan is a CT with oral contrast on March 1st.

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3154
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi GKH,

 I will be getting a CT with contrast also around the first of March. I'll keep you in my prayers and think positive thoughts for both of us to have clean scan reports! Hang in there...waiting for the scan and results is always a bummer, but we do what we have to do to get through this. Stay strong....best wishes...Sue

(FNHL-grd2-stg3-typA-Dx6/10-age62)

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network