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Results of PET/CT Scan

Posts: 756
Joined: Apr 2012

We got the results of my husband's PET/CT Scan yesterday. Needless to say we are somewhat pleased with the results. Mad at the oncologist because I don't feel he really looked at the results nor the lab work that was done before seeing us. There was some fluid in the lower right lung and first thing they wanted to do was drain it without any further studies. Now this was even said before listening to my husband's lungs and after they did they said they could barely hear any thing in the lower right lung. We declined to have the lung drained at this time. I know that after he finished his first round of radiation he was in the hospital for a trach and another biopsy and the chest x-ray showed that his lungs needed to be cleaned out. Well when the lung specialist did a bronoscope he came out and told me there was nothing in his lungs to be cleaned out. When I told the oncologist that he then said that radiation could cause fluid in the lungs. So we are going to wait 4 weeks and then do another CT of the chest.

Has this happened to anyone else?

Now the ENT/surgeon/cancer specialist was pleased with what the PET/CT showed. But he is going to do an endoscopy and then try to open up Joe's throat so he can swallow again. There is still a lot of inflammation (3 months out of radiation) and the report says "possibly a small tumor could be hiding". The doctor said it was possible but he doubted it and that is why he wants to do an endoscopy and that this was put in the report to cover themselves. Has this happened to anyone else?

Sharon -- caregiver to husband

longtermsurvivor's picture
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mar 2010

it is unsettling to be rushed through like you were, without enough concern expressed by the doctor to reassure you he had his head in the game and was truly looking out for your husbands best interest. I dont blame you at all for feeling like you do. If I understood you correctly, hos CT/PET scan does not show a mass in the lungs, but there is fluid in the pleural space? I will say that this does NOT need to be drained just forthe fun of draining it. If he is short of breath that would be a different story. It is true that they can sendthis fluid to the lab for analysis, to make sure it doesnt have cancer cells in it, if this is the concern. Either way, there is no harm in waiting a month to see if it resolves, as you have decided.

I agree that the radiologist who read the film, saying that "possibly a small tumor could be hiding" is just practicing CYA ( you know, cover yer ***) medicine. I have had enough of those CYA types of reports through the years to be pretty tired of them. I wouldnt worry about this report at all.

Hope things are going well otherwise. best to you


Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1508
Joined: Nov 2011

I saw this post .....and though I can't add anything to what Pat has said (I am only 8 months out from last rad) I did want you to konw I took a moment and whispered a prayer things get better, healing...it's all I can do though I wish I could do more...

Do keep us posted.



Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

I think he probably has a good report and more than likely nothing for you to worry about.

Becasue of acid reflux, a lot spurred on from chemo/rads... I have an Endoscopy done every two years per my MD's recommendations. Mainly because of signs of errosion, but to keep an eye on things...Barrett's is always a concern with acid reflux.

So I would actually greet the fact that they are concerned and want to get an eyeball on those concerns.

It's best to be pro-active than re-active.

The approach they are taking sounds pretty pro-active to me.

Hopefully, they'll just see resdiual and nothing else to concern you or them about.

Thoughts and Prayers,

Posts: 756
Joined: Apr 2012

My husband saw the oncologist he has been seeing for 8 plus years for polycmethia vera and he said that the fluid in the lung could well be from radiation and he agreed not to do anything right now and that a regular chest x-ray would be best instead of the CT scan.

Joe will have a laryngoscopy/esophagoscopy/biopsy (if necessary) and hopefully the dilation and opening of his throat next Tuesday. We, of course, are anxious about this and what they find since after the laryngectomy, now we are dealing with cancer at the cervical of the esphogus which was a stage 2 but no spread.

All I can say, for the last 2 years, this has been something else. You also find out exactly who your friends and even family are and how much they care.


VivianLee5689's picture
Posts: 546
Joined: Aug 2012

Since we are at the very beginning of the treatment stage I don't think I am able to give any advice, but when you said, "You also find out exactly who your friends and even family are and how much they care." I get that. I find more support on this cancer board than from most of the people I know. It seems as if cancer just scares people. Maybe they don't know what to say or what to offer. Sometimes I think they get overwhelmed by all that the cancer patient is going through. I don't know, but since David has been diagnosed we have had plenty of card, but very little actual concern or help. Thank God for his 75 year old mother. She has been invaluable to us. Other than that we have each other to get through this. I pray that everything will be ok for Joe and that you will continue to have strength, health and peace to sustain you through the rest of his treatment.

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