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PET Scan vs Bone Scan

markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

I talked to onolocist yesterday about my tail bone pain. He did not feel it necessary to order a bone scan. His reasons were:

1. He stated that cancer pain is constant, that the pain does not come and go. My tail bone pain is not constant so he's not wholly concerned.

I think this is a bit of a strange answer because I have a 3cm metastasis in my liver that does not hurt at all. Are bone metastasis different in that they cause pain all the time?

2. My oncologist did not order a bone scan because I am scheduled for a PET scan in 2 1/2 weeks. Is it true that PET scans will detect bone metastasis as well as a bone scan?

I just want to make sure I am vigilant about detecting cancer anywhere. My original diagnosis of colorectal cancer was delayed for years because I accepted a doctors dismissal of a hemmrhoid diagnosis. I'm a little on my toes more these days. Especially because I think I read that bone metastasis is not hopeless, that if caught early, I could actually get sections of bone removed. But I am, of course, still hoping that I have nothing wrong with my tailbone - but I believe you got to be vigilant, informed, and aware of your options if the worst case scenario materializes.

Thanks for any help and info,

Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi Maria -- Is another opinion an option for you? You are sounding as if you are not that thrilled with your doc's explanation to you. It is easy for us to 'spin' with or without info about our situations. If I were you, I would make a few calls. You can speak to your hospital's radiology dept. to receive some acccurate info about what tests show the most....or a doc can ask on your behalf. You might also speak to your Gastro about the tailbone pain and try to figure out the cause. Just a few thoughts. I am sure that you are frustrated and I hope youreceive a bit of answers and peace soon. Take care and all the best -- Maura

markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Thank you Maura for the suggestion to call the radiology dept. I will probably do that. I don't think I'm quite at the point of calling another doc. Maybe see what the radiology dept says first.


Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1079
Joined: Aug 2003


I work in a radiology dept, I will ask a radiologist on Monday if bone mets are picked up on a PET scan.

I had both a bone scan and a pet scan when i was first diagnosed.


ccartwri's picture
Posts: 82
Joined: Jul 2005

my onco said a PET CT would detect bone mets.

BusterBrown's picture
Posts: 221
Joined: Mar 2005

You asked "Can you tell me how you got rid of those liver mets? My father was just diagnosed in November. The doctor is working on the liver mets now with Avastin, Oxiliplatine and Xeloda. What did you think contribute to your remission?"
I cannot pinpoint what it was that made my liver lesions disappear, but if I had to guess, I'd say it was the chemo. My lesions disappeared after just 3 treatments of 5fu and oxliplatin. I hope your dad along with others using these drugs have the same results...
Happy Holidays.

Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Maria,

I guess you questions has been answered, but I just wanted you to know I'll be thinking of you. Please let us know the results of your PET scan. I think it's wonderful that you are staying on top of your treatment and testing plan. Keep us posted.

Sending you my best.


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