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Best test..MRI or PET?

bluewillo
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2013

I can't discuss why, but I want a test to make sure I'm still cancer free. I had stage 3c in 2009, finished treatment in early 2010. Mast., chemo, rads, and am now on Tamoxafin. I never had any extensive tests done, except a bone scan (did you know that the magnets in the scanner made the fillings loose in a few of my teeth? Ah, cancer, the gift that keeps on giving!:)

so, I want one test to show that I'm still NED. My doc has said he's not all for expensive tests, but I have good insurance...which I hardly ever use. If it were you, which test would you demand, an MRI or PET? (oh, yeah, I had like 11 out of 13 lymph nodes involved).

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

ComfortablyNumb
Posts: 39
Joined: May 2013

I've always been led to believe that PET scans were the best way to verify cancer status...from what I hear though they are very expensive in some places and have long waiting lists...but if you've got insurance you might as well use it! 

 

Kat 

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2119
Joined: Jun 2010

There are really no perfect tests.  A bone scan may shows uptake but doesn't say whether or not it is cancer or arthritis.  In my neck of the woods, they only do an MRI when you are complain say of shoulder pain or leg pain.  A ct scan when you are complaining of a dry cough or pain in the abdomen.  I've only had a PET scan 3 times in 19 years of dealing with breast cancer.

Do blood makers work for you, if so that is a good indication.  They don't work for me, so we never do blood markers.  To me the best way to know is see the doctor if the pain or symptom doesn't go away in 3 weeks.  

Not much help, but the best indicator if cancer returns are symptoms.  Know what they are and then see your oncologist is the best advice that I have.

Remember that 70% of women and men never have a recurrence.  Hoping you will be in that 70% club.  Lots of Stage 3C never have a recurrence and sometimes stage 0 will morph to stage IV.  There is no way of knowing who will or who won't.

Wishing you the best,

Doris

bluewillo
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2013

My onc doc only uses "tumor markers" as an indicator. That kinda scares me. I guess I don't know enough about tumour markers to get the following:

does it tell you there is ABSOLUTELY no cancer in your body?

if it does find a tumour, does it tell you where or how big or how old?

Or, does it just say *ALERT! THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG HERE, AND THIS CHICK IS GONNA BE PISSED. BACK AWAY FROM THE PATIENT SLOWLY AND CALL SECURITY!? LOL!

I guess I need to do some research.

again, thanks for the info.

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