CSN Login
Members Online: 6

You are here

Scans or no scans??

keystone's picture
keystone
Posts: 134
Joined: Dec 2010

I need some feedback. My husband had surgery on 3-25-11 he is currently on his post chemo. He has not been scanned since right before his surgery. Do they normally scan during chemo? His cancer was rectal with one lymph node involved. The worrisome part is that on his first PET scan before surgery and chemo there was two places that lit up (other than the rectum)one in his groin, and one area in his throat. They were not very concerned due to the fact they lit up at a low level. They went ahead and did a endoscopy and it all came back fine they said in the throat it was due to recent acid reflux and there was not any concern. The fact that the post surgical PET did not light up at all gives me some relief but still concerns me. They tell me that the PEt is very sensitive and inflammation will cause a certain amount of uptake. Also the radiation oncologist said that where his cancer was at in the rectum that the cancer "just doesn't go there" ( the groin). I so wish I could just calm down and trust they know what they are talking about. I am so anxious about them scanning him due to all of this. His CEA has always been under 1 so I am hoping that is an indicator that the cancer was only in the recaal area. Gosh WHEN do you get to take a moment and breathe during all of this?? Thanks so much guys for being there since most of you are way beyond us in this journey.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4888
Joined: May 2005

I'm in treatment for stage IV colon cancer and I get CT scans every 3 months so it's normal for me. His CEA is nice and low which usually is very good. As far the groin goes, there are lymph nodes there. Often, not always, cancer can move around via the lymph nodes. That does mean that it IS what's happening but I'd be keeping an eye on it.

I think that I've only had 1 PET scan (maybe 2) the entire time I've had cancer. For me it's always been CT scans.

Take another DEEP breath and hang in there...
-phil

keystone's picture
keystone
Posts: 134
Joined: Dec 2010

Thank you Phil. I know I need to keep reminding myself to breathe!

Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Kathryn_in_MN
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

While PET/CT is pretty accurate for most things, and has been accurate about my lymph node mets, it isn't always cancer if something lights up.

I had pancreatitis in May 2010, and my pancreas lit up. That resolved when the pancreatitis did.

I was having thyroid problems at the time of my progression August/September 2010, and it lit up on the PET. After the thyroid was under control again it has not lit up.

If you have infection or inflammation from a cause (other than cancer) the area will light up. So just because something lights on a PET, it isn't proof of cancer. With low CEA and the doctors not being concerned I wouldn't worry.

keystone's picture
keystone
Posts: 134
Joined: Dec 2010

Thanks so much Kathryn. I know I'm a worry wart and I need to relax but early on you are so naive about everything and just hoped I had not let something very important slip by. A few months later I found the PET scan summary and it showed the SUV of either 4 or 5 (those numbers had never been discused). When I looked into the scale that seemed a little high to be of no concern? I don't know, what a rollercoaster ride this is!

Subscribe to Comments for "Scans or no scans??"