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What should I request?

Fayard's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: May 2011

I am having my one year mark appointment with my oncologist on Friday.
A few months ago, he told me he was going to order a PET scan.
I received an approval from my insurance to have a CT scan of my chest, abdomen and pelvis.

PET and CT scans are not the same, right?
I am going to call my doctor on Tuesday to request a PET scan, since he also told me when I finished chemo he would order one. Apparently, this is the procedure my insurance will follow, and my doctor also said we still have to fight it for approval.

Which of the two scans is the more effective to check for active cancer cells?
So far, what I have read is that PET scan is more effective on detecting cancer cell at an early stage.

Any advice, please!

daisy366's picture
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

will show rapid growth activity. This is what my doctor prefers.

Fayard, I hope you get insurance approval and it's encouraging that your doctor is willing to fight for this. Many insurance companies (like mine) won't approve unless there is a problem like possible recurrence. I went through all this - it's a crazy system.

Mary Ann

Kaleena's picture
Posts: 2056
Joined: Nov 2009


A PET scan will show active cancer. A CT will show masses. Most insurance companies will approve CT scans, hard time for PET scans though. It has to be "medically necessary" and just having cancer or if the doctor order's it doesn't count. (I know this by experience). If they see a mass on a CT they will usually then do a PET. There is also something called a PET/CT (You get both).

With a PET, you are given a radioactive isotop. Cancer is attracted to sugar so this radiative stuff goes to where active cancer is. You must lie still because muscle movement will also show a "light up" area. ie: heart & lung. I prefer the PEt Scans over the CT scans. However, my new insurance company denied my recent one so I just ended up with a CT scan.

There are two types of PET Scans. A regular PET - all you have to do is drink something like a Crystal Light stuff and give you the isotope and wait 45 minutes for it to go through your body. They know you are ready when they waive the geiger counter over so so don't freak.

With my other one PET/CT - they actually put a catheter in me so that I would be still, the the same stuff - however, they also gave me contrast for the CT part. There are probably other ways too.

If you are diabetic, you can get a false positive with a PET (something I had read).

Hope this helps.


Fayard's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: May 2011

Thank you for your input.
I am calling my doctor tomorrow and ask him what test he is ordering.

Wish me luck!

Fayard's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: May 2011

I called my doctor's office and talked to his nurse. I told her that the Dr. said he would fight the referral for a PET scan. She said she will talk to him and resubmit upon agreement.

I had an appointment last Friday, and while there I was told the insurance approved the PET scan. I am still shocked with happiness!
Now, I am just waiting for the hospital to call me to schedule it.

Thank you for your advice and support!

snowbird_11's picture
Posts: 160
Joined: Oct 2011

Fayard, Glad PET was approved. A big stress off your mind and hoping you have a completely negative test result!

Fayard's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: May 2011

Thank you very much for your wishes!

debrajo's picture
Posts: 1095
Joined: Sep 2011

Don't wait for the hospital to call! You call them,everyday, and remind them! They get "busy" and you get pushed to the back. I have a friend that is the senior MRI tec at a local hospital and she is always telling me about "over-sights" The squeeky wheel does get the grease first!...just my opinion! Best, debrajo

Fayard's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: May 2011

Thank you for the advice. I am calling tomorrow.

Sara Zipora's picture
Sara Zipora
Posts: 231
Joined: Sep 2010

I recently had my third Pet CT, lucky me huh?! I agree that You need to call and nudge for an appointed, try for early in the morn as you have to fast four hours or so before.
Results aren't immediate, takes them a few days to two weeks to get results printed. Nudge here too!
Good luck!
Rooting and praying for you,

Posts: 62
Joined: Mar 2012


I hope your test results are good and you remain NED!

Prayers and best wishes!

Fayard's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: May 2011

Thank you very much for your wishes. :)

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