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Which is best? CT or Pet SCan?

Posts: 150
Joined: Mar 2011

I was wondering if anyone had a story about which is better or if one scan presented something different than the other. I read online that a Pet is better than the CT.

Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

Has me do both...evidently one shows one thing better and vice versa...just had both, back to back today!

CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

Most PET scans are also done with a CT scan in order to better localize cancer activity. Plain CT scans are also done to give your physician a better and different view of a suspicious area.

There is no one perfect imaging test. Different tests help to give us a better idea of what is going on. Serial tests are also very helpful because a little something showing up on one test can be followed and diagnosed more accurately after a few tests.

mamolady's picture
Posts: 796
Joined: May 2011

PET scans look for "hot spots" that could mean an issue. It is very non specific. If it finds some thing the doctor will order a CT or MRI or maybe X-ray to get a better look at what ever area is involved. The imaging depends on how the area they are looking at is better imaged.


ps - A bone scan is similar to a PET scan but only for the bones.

carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

I have only had bone and CT scans.

tgf's picture
Posts: 954
Joined: Mar 2009

I never had a PET scan ... just an MRI ... then I think it was some sort of CAT/CT (?) scan to make the "mold" for radiation. Since then I've had a bone scan ... but other than the routine stuff ... no PET scan.


DebbyM's picture
Posts: 3293
Joined: Oct 2009

I have had CT scans, bone scans and MRI's. I've never had a PET scan.

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

I try to stay away from CT scans.Alot of radiation and just saw last night that medical X rays can be cancer causing.Of course I read up on this awhile back and was amazed how much radiation a CT scan has.I got my urolgist to do a KUB with minimal radiation but my stomach felt hot the next day.That bothered me.

If it is to find something and doctors order it I guess it's the best thing to find disease. Since dx I've had my share of X rays and ready to cut back on any unless an emergency.I get my mammos dental xrays and also had to have a couple x rays on my leg.The one x ray on my leg they put a shield over me.The first one they didn't and that bothers me.Think of the safety of the patient.

I've never had a PET Scan

Lynn Smith

RE's picture
Posts: 4644
Joined: Feb 2004

I recently had a CT scan due to tummy issues (without contrast), it showed no abnormalities so my doctor ordered an MRI. I asked him what the difference was and he said the MRI shows more defined imagery. The MRI showed problems within my Gallbladder so out it came.

I have had two PET scans, as other's have mentioned they are to show hot spots and I have been told by my Onco they are the best of the three but only used when absolutely needed. It has been my experience that first they do an ultra sound them CT, them MRI and last a PET.


Posts: 150
Joined: Mar 2011

That's what I thought. My husband's symptoms were crazy about 2 weeks ago. I am scared but I am trying to support my husband's decisions. He hates going to the dr, however we ended up in the hospital.He is a Stage IV breast cancer patient, diagnosed at 36. The last 3 years have been pure hell. Before we ended up in the hospital, the dr had ordered a Pet and CT scan---it was time. He had not had one since May-the last time he was in the hospital. Then we ended up in the hospital, they only did a ct on his stomach and other organs, and the dr said, he was fine. But, my husband was in so much pain. He still is. His stomach was in a lot of pain...still is. Has not had a bowel movement again in 2 weeks or more. Anyway...I thought he should have had a full scan. I just don't feel like I am getting the right or definite answers. They say his bowels are inflamed, but something is not adding up.

New Flower
Posts: 4299
Joined: Aug 2009

i am sorry for the pain.
Even he eats a little his body needs bowel movements. There medication, diet and specialists to help with it. Inflammation and constipation are related and probably are causing additional stomach pain.

Kylez's picture
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

I'm so sorry Jackie that your husband is still in so much pain. I pray that his doctors will be able to get him some relief.



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