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to steved--re: pet scans

Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

I have to disagree with you on your post concerning pet scans. I work in a radiology dept. and have discussed with many of the docs tests that I have needed since my cancer diagnosis. I was diagnosed on 3/17/03 and saw a general surgeon that day who told me I did not need a pet scan. (This was not a major cancer center.) The radiologist who read my cat scan said that a pet scan was the gold standard of treatment and not utilized like it should be. Luckily my oncologist ordered the pet scan. I saw a surgeon at a major cancer center for a second opinion, he also requested a pet scan. He was an oncology surgeon and who I chose to do my surgery. Since then I have had 2 more cat/pet scans. The radiologist said if anyone ordered a pet scan later on they would have something to compare it to.
A pet scan is not 100% and there are false positives. There was an area of concern on my last cat scan, which was followed by a pet/cat scan. It came back as positive, but some of the docs thought it was scar tissue. I was having surgery and the area of concern was removed and it was indeed scar tissue.
I think if someone is diagnosed today and there docs don't order a pet scan they should find a doctor who will.

I am sorry that this is so long.


Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

And so the story continues. Gotta tell you.. as soon as I was diagnosed, I went to MD Anderson for all my care. They did NOT get a PET scan until after I had a pulm nodule/met.

There are reasons for and against the PET. But, sadly, no absolute correct answer. The information a PET scan yields is only as useful as the pre-test probability allows it to be.

Some cases warrant PET from the beginning, others don't. No steadfast rules. Find a doctor who can explain why you are getting/not getting test; so you trust and understand them!

I too am sorry this is so long. jana

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