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Positron Emission Tomography (P.E.T.) Scanning for diagnosis, recurrence

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2003

I'm writing from a facility that performs P.E.T. Scans. For those of you not familiar with this scan, it is an invaluable tool that reveals metastatic disease that other imaging techniques simply cannot detect. It shows the progress of the disease and how the body responds to treatment. It assists physicians in providing more appropriate treatment plans and allows for earlier detection. Until there is a cure, early detection is the next best thing. With an injection of glucose containing a signal-emitting tracer, the scanner records signals that the tracer emits as they journey through the body and collects in the various organs targeted for examination. A computer reassembles the signals into actual images and distinguishes malignant from benign cells. As with everything new, it takes time to prove it's true value. Just like it used to be with MRI, CT's, etc.. This test can truly save lives. I am currently trying to get a patient's ins.co.to authorize a P.E.T. for recurrent thyroid ca., which is normally considered medically necessary with elevated thyroglobulin levels. This patient does not have elevated tg levels, but has had recurrence of the disease twice. Has anyone been diagnosed or have had recurrence without elevated thyroglobulin? Thank you for your responses and input. Shelley

Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2003

I was dx without having elevated thyroglobulin levels, I did have elevated thyroglobulin antiboties. My surgeon had explained to me that a nuclear radioactive iodine uptake is the best and first way of screening for the illness but that if for some reason my thyroglobulin levels were elevated and nothing showed up on the nuclear test they would most certain do the PET scan. He explained that the two tests cover eachother. What might not show up on one would most likly show on the other and vice versa. My surgeon is out of the Universtiy of Michigan hospital and I know they have done studies. If you wanted a name I would be more than willing to share. You can contact me at marasco@netzero.net .

LAF64's picture
Posts: 20
Joined: Apr 2003

I have this test in January after being diagnosed with a thyroid cancer recurrance last year, and having radioactive iodine last year. It saved my life. I had a modified neck dissection in April and my blood tests look good. The best news for me was that my insurance carrier did pay for the test.

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