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update on to pet or not to pet

Posts: 638
Joined: Dec 2009

well ONC said that I couldn't take the pre med pills for a c scan because it would get into my blood stream and be the same as the dye. Than he said a pet can be done on some one with blood sugar over 120 because the radition is attracted to abnormal cancer cells and would most likey go to them. I explained I don't have the money to take both c scan and pet so they need to get it right the 1st time. He will talk to the pet tech about my BS and see what they say. I told him if he was looking for cancer why not run a cea . He didn't have an answer for that but hopefully next week I will get a C or pet. don't care want to find out what is going on and get it taken care of....

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Louann,

I'm surprised your onc hasn't already run a CEA in your bloodwork. Standard is monthly for someone in treatment and it's certainly something that should be done if you're looking for something. I'd insist on it. With that said, however, many people on the board will tell you that their oncs don't put a lot of confidence in CEA tests. That's because it isn't an accurate predictor of cancer activity in everyone. Some people have high CEAs and they can't find anything wrong in them. Other people have active cancer and their CEA tests out as normal. I would think it would be a good starting point for you, though, as if you're paying yourself, bloodwork is certainly cheaper than the scans! You still should have a scan for sure, but I'd start with the CEA. Now... do you already know if CEA is an accurate marker for you? Have you had it tested in the past? CEA has proved to be a very accurate marker for me and literally every time mine has started creepng up, it has been shown on the subsequent scan that, yes, my cancer activity had increased. I know that's NOT the case for everyone, but it has been for me now four different times when mine started going up and I was told not to worry it's probably nothing- it was. Know nowing that, my oncologist pays careful attention to it in me. He told me he has some patients that he doesn't. So, the key here is knowing if it's accurace for YOU or not.

Take care & I'm praying for you!

Posts: 278
Joined: Jan 2009

I agree with Lisa on the CEA My DR also uses it as a marker for me like Lisa says I would insist on the CEA Like Lisa said it is a good marker for some people good luck


geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

As usual, Lisa is spot on. CEA is an excellent indicator for George as well. If you get a PET or CT are you paying for these out of pocket or do you have some type of coverage? I am going to assume that the centers that do scans deal with blood sugar problems all the time so don't let that worry you too much, as long as they are prepared and know your medical history you should be fine. Tina

Posts: 638
Joined: Dec 2009

when they call today I am going to insist I go in for more lab and run what ever they didn't run last time I want to make sure before paying for a scan....

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

The CEA test isn't valid unless there are numerous other markers,
and even then, not all cancers give off enough CEA to matter.
And.... CEA numbers can be appreciably higher when cancer
cells are dying off, than when they are alive.

Since cancer cells use glucose more than normal cells, and
since the cancer cells actually rob the glucose from the cells
that need it, if your blood sugar is too high, the PET scan won't
be accurate. The PET method uses radioactive glucose with the
idea that the cancer tumors will show up more readily due to
it's higher level of radioactive glucose within it.

The CAT scan is usually the best to see cancer, and the one
that's most often suggested since it doesn't rely on a glucose
uptake factor, and simply indicates masses.

You are entitled to a second (or more) opinion(s), and should
seek other opinions of the you're not happy with anything you're
hearing. All good physicians welcome other opinions, since
they often learn of new technology from those opinions. It's also
some relief from the overwhelming responsibility of their single,
personal opinion.

dianetavegia's picture
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

Louann, since you are a brittle diabetic, why not insist on another liver panel and ask if an ultrasound of the liver might be helpful. Those cost a lot less.

Seems like since you JUST completed Xeloda that doc wouldn't go freaky over one set of slightly elevated liver enzymes.

The following side effects are common, occuring in more than 30% of all patients taking Xeloda:

•Elevated liver enzymes (increased bilirubin levels) (see liver problems).

Posts: 638
Joined: Dec 2009

I have only talked to his nurse and she is just that a nurse before I agree to anything I am going to have a face to face with him and it maybe due to this back pain I am having and I had lost 7 lbs since I saw him last 1 month before I was gaining so it maybe all the above but I still want to do the one that is going to tell him what is going on I will not just run have test after test.

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