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PET scan

bjohnson
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2007

Since I am new to this arena, there are many terms that I do not know. What is PET scan and what does NO/MO mean?

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1254
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi BJohnson -

A PET scan is nuclear medicine test where they inject you with IV form of radioactive glucose. You rest about an hour and then go thru a scanner for about 40 minutes. All cells utilize glucose for fuel, but the theory is that cancer cells metabolize glucose at a higher than normal rate, so areas of cancer will "light up" on the PET scan. You have to fast for at least 6 hours before the test (there are special procedures for diabetics, but I do not know what they are).

It is a very non-invasive test (but expensive). Here's an internet link that describes it, but there are many more: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=pet&bhcp=1

N0/M0 probably comes from your biopsy report? It's good news - N0- means no spread to any local lymph nodes and M0 means no sign of distant metastases. This site actually has the definitions of these biopsy terms on it. Sounds like you may be Stage II and while it doesn't seem so to you right now, that is probably good news.

Share more info with us and we can help you more.

Sorry you have to be here, but glad you found us.

Betsy

bjohnson
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2007

Thanks for the info. I had a CAT scan and was given a banana slush with a contrast to drink 45 min before the scan and then an IV with contrast injected into that for the scan. Is this the same as the PET? Sounds like it but they didn't call it that to me. Hope to see more of NO/MO!!!
Butch

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1254
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Butch -

What you had was a CT scan with IV contrast (probably of chest abdomen and pelvis). That is different from a PET. The oral contrast (aka white glop) provides contrast that improves the quality of the abdominal CT - the IV iodine contrast provides additional contrast. If you are really Stage II and your CT's look good, your doc may well not even order a PET. (Us Stage IV's on the other hand get PET scans because they really help with the followup of metastatic disease).

Take care,
Betsy

vinny3's picture
vinny3
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

What you had was a regular CT scan. For the PET scan they give you the radioactive material about 40 minutes ahead of time, as mentioned, and they will tell you that they are giving you radioactive material.

Dick

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