CSN Login
Members Online: 5

You are here

PET Scan

lnjr
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello,

My mother was recently in the hospital for a broken patella. When they did the chest x-ray on admission they noticed some questionable spots on her lungs. She had a CT Scan done and they decided that she needed to have a needle biopsy. After she healed from her surgery for the broken patella they did the needle biopsy (just over a week ago). She received a phone call this morning stating that it is cancer (but she didn't bother to ask any questions or write down the information that they told her). Anyway, the pulmonary specialist was going to have another doctor (cancer specialist) call her to schedule another test.
As it turns out they are going to do a PET Scan this Friday. I was wondering if anyone would happen to know how long the PET Scan will take once she has been injected with the dye. I did find some information that stated that they inject the dye / radioactive material and then after about an hour they do the PET Scan and that the entire scan takes 90 minutes but I am not sure if that includes the hour for the dye (radioactive material) to be absorbed into the body.

Since my mother didn't bother to ask any questions or get a phone number so that I can call to find out what is going on I would be grateful for any information I can get. They did tell her that they are going to mail out the information to her and that she should get it before the test is done this Friday (it is Monday afternoon).

Thanks so Very Much

medi_2's picture
medi_2
Posts: 510
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi, Last time I had one it was about 30 minutes. The scan starts about 15 minutes after the injection and doesn't last long at all. Just make sure she drinks lots of water afterward to wash the dye out of her system.
Good Luck!
Medi

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

Make sure she eats absolutely nothing the day of the scan. On the day before the scan she should avoid sweets and try to limit her carbs. I waited about 20 minutes once I was injected with dye and the scan itself is quick. I found to be it a lot more quiet and peaceful than an MRI or a CT scan.

Good luck with the results.

medi_2's picture
medi_2
Posts: 510
Joined: Aug 2009

Sorry about that...I was talking about CAT; however my post makes a good argument for CHEMO BRAIN!;)
Medi

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I was soooo glad that my most impatient other half wasn't with me the day of my PET/CAT scan. I was used to CAT scans that took all of 15 minutes and I was out of there. The PET/CAT scan (my hospital offered a combo scan thing) took at least 90 minutes. However, lots of that time was very very quiet. The nurses would give me something to drink (not nearly as bad tasting as I feared though I wouldn't order it at McDonalds!) and then make me wait awhile before the next part of the test. I had to sit in a quiet room and rest while my body absorbed the radioactive sugar in the drink. Everything was carefully timed. The scan itself was just like a CAT scan: lie down, hold your breath during the scan, and then it's over. They gave me a lovely warmed blanket during the scan when I complained of feeling chilled.

The thing I didn't like the most was that they couldn't tell me anything on the day of the test. I had to wait for my doctor to call and let me know. It turned out I had pneumonia in addition to some iffy spots that on biopsy were cancer.

In case you didn't already know, the PET scan will show which parts of the body absorb the most sugar. Cancer is tissue that divides and grows. Growing tissue needs calories and loves sugar. Since most of us aren't growing all that much, the cancer tissue will glow brightly in comparison. The more aggressive the cancer, the more radioactive sugar it will absorb. The radiologist can determine where the spots of activity are throughout the body on a PET scan. That information along with a CAT scan gives the surgeon what he or she will need to plan the best intervention. Good luck!

C. Abbott

OncoSurge
Posts: 21
Joined: Oct 2009

_______________________________________
"...She received a phone call this morning stating that it is cancer (but she didn't bother to ask any questions or write down the information that they told her)...

...Since my mother didn't bother to ask any questions or get a phone number so that I can call to find out what is going on..."
_______________________________________

Please be patient with your mother. She is probably in shock and doesn't have a point of reference as yet to generate any questions... even questions that may seem to us to be basic. Most patients I have seen take a very long time to come to terms with cancer and to understand what is/has occurred. Some ask very few questions. I have asked some if they had questions... often answer is, "no". If the situation seems amenable to my pushing as to why so few questions, I sometimes find a patient replying something like, "it doesn't matter... it's my fault... etc...". I can only speak from my experience not as a cancer survivor but an observer and care provider.

She needs your patience and love. You will likely find yourself also needing support and love of friends and family as you embark on this difficult journey with her. Our best wishes and prayers are with both of you.

OS

MadelynJoe's picture
MadelynJoe
Posts: 96
Joined: Sep 2003

I am a 4.5 year nsclc survivor. I have CATS on a regular basis but my last PET was 4 years ago. The 90 minutes includes the time you wait for the dye to circulate in your body. My only problem was keeping my arms above my head while the scan was taking place. There was no pain involved with the scan except for the needle administering the dye of course.

Prayers going up for your Mother.

Madelyn

lnjr
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2009

I would like to thank everyone for your response to my question. I greatly appreciate it. I did read that the PET Scan will show any parts of the body that has absorbed the sugar, which I am glad that I learned since mom is also a diabetic.

I was finally able to get ahold of the radiology department where she is going to be having the PET Scan and let them know about her being diabetic as well as letting them know of all the medications that she is currently on. There only concern was if her blood sugar goes above 200 ~ fortunately we have that well under control now so there is no problem there.

I did realize that we won't be given the results right after the scan; heck you usually don't get the results on a basic x-ray right away so I knew that it would be at least a day or two before anyone gave us the results and since the scan isn't until Friday afternoon, we will probably have to wait till at least Monday or Tuesday before anyone gets back to us.

As for being patient with my mom, it isn't that I am being impatient. It is just that although mom seems to be on top of things all the time and will insist I am wrong. She just doesn't remember things like she use to ~ no matter what the situation (its not like we don't all forget things now and again or don't think things through all the time but she has gotten much worse over the past 2 years). I'm not sure how to explain it other than to say that no matter what the situation or if it has to do with her, a family member or anyone or anything else she just doesn't think. In fact, her family doctor now calls me with any information regarding mom and depends on me to handle things because even though she thinks that she can handle things like she use to he has even noticed that she doesn't. If it weren't for my being on top of her all the time about her diabetes that wouldn't be under control as well as it is now (even though she knows what she needs to do to keep it under control and keep it that way she wouldn't do it if I didn't insist that she keep a record of her blood sugar levels as well as her food & carb intake). She insists that my father is getting alzheimer’s since he is just a little forgetful and looses his train of thought more than he did years ago but don't we all do that now and again (especially as we get older). Unfortunately mom just doesn't seem to want to realize or accept the fact that we all get a little more forgetful as we get older and that she needs to write things down when a someone calls with information. Heck, even I write things down when it comes to getting a phone call with important information.

I love my parents dearly and will do anything I can for them and I just take whatever information that she does give me and them come back home and make any necessary phone calls to find out what exactly is going on as well as doing any needed research for whatever the situation. I don't get upset with her about it or say anything since that is just the way things are.

Again, thanks so very much for the information and support.

Lisa

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

I'm glad we could be of some assistance to you. When I said to make sure she doesn't eat the day of the test I had not considered the possibility of diabetes. Please disregard my statement and ask the doctor how to handle that.

I know it's hard to care for an aging parent even under the best of circumstances. I've been there and done that with my late father-in-law and it was tough. It sounds like you are a wonderful daughter and they are lucky to have you.

Once again, all the best to you and everyone else on this board.

Subscribe to Comments for "PET Scan"