Bone Scan versus Pet Scan

themis01 Member Posts: 167
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I would like to get the opinions of you all on the following... My mom has the stage 4 cancer that is in the liver and peritoneum. She has had a PET scan and it has shown to be in those 2 areas as the CAT scan did. She has lots of pain in her hip and back and has had this long before the cancer. She has had an x-ray 2 years ago that showed the arthritis in her hip. However, the Onc. ordered a bone scan since she told him about this pain. Wouldn't they see bone mets on a PET scan? I feel he is just doing this to be overly thorough since she is a new patient to him and she told him of this pain in the hip and back. However, this test is today and she was up ALL night worrying that something else will be wrong. I have not heard too much about bone mets being common with CC and have tried to reassure her that this arthiritis has been there for years and she has talked about that pain for a very long time. I don't know how to help her redirect the worry to doing proactive things for the cancer. It is all sucha waiting game. She literally looks 10 years older since the diagnosis and I really hope it gets easier on her. We are all waiting to see if she will respond to chemo in hopes of surgery with Dr. Sugarbaker on the peritoneum and liver. Thanks for your comments.


  • kerry
    kerry Member Posts: 1,313 Member
    I also had a bone scan with a PET Scan. I'm sure the doctor wants to rules out everything. I'm not absolutely sure, but I think the PET scan does NOT show what may be in the bones - so this is a good thing to test for everything.

    I wish you and your Mom the best of luck with her treatment. Keep us posted.

  • JKendall
    JKendall Member Posts: 186
    When my wife was diagnosed with stage IV she had a bone scan and a pet scan, both within a week of each other, both ordered by the same doctor. I'm not 100% on this, but I'm under the impression they show two different things. In fact, I think the bone scan showed other damage to the bones, separate and apart from the pet scan; my wife's bone scan showed a spot on her pelvis that the doctors attributed to surgery damage instead of disease. Good luck to you and your mom. Let us know how things go.

  • deneenb
    deneenb Member Posts: 130
    Hi Erika,

    I just had a bone scan myself so I can tell you exactly what the Dr. told me. A bone scan will show: Infections in the bones, breaks and fractures, arthritis, osteoporosis and mets from cancer in other locations. The Dr. may just be looking to see if the arthritis is worsening or maybe if osteporosis is starting.

    I hope this helps.
  • madu
    madu Member Posts: 53
    I was told that bone mets were uncommon with colon cancer - this from my onc when I told him I had a persistent ache in my side. I did eventually have a bone scan about a year ago when a CT scan report mentioned some thing being unchanged in my hip area - since it had never been mentioned before (!) I decided to have the test. It turned out to be a bone island or something benign. Have to say the test was pretty cool - you could actually see your skeleton on the screen. Afterwards the technician showed me some scans of bone mets and you could definitely- without training - see the spots. I don't know whether this will help or not, but I can tell you I'm fast approaching my 7 year anniversary with total remission from stage IV rectal sigmoid cancer with a met to liver. Good luck with you mom.