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PET VS CT scan.... Anal cancer vs rectal cancer

Lorikat's picture
Posts: 680
Joined: Jul 2011

As I said. In another post, I haven't ever had a PET scan. Only CT scans. Today I asked the radiologist why and he said quote "while they certainly DO use pet scans at MDA the CT scans there are so very good that a PET is not always needed.". Ok, so I don't really know much more than I did! LOL! I am at the one year post tx landmark and NED, so whatever they decide is ok with me!

I also talked with the Radiation Dr. and he reiterated that I have SCC of the rectum, and while there are differences between anal and rectal squamous cell carcinoma they are treated basically the same. (I was confused because my biopsy and reports routinely say rectal. I asked before and was told anal SCC.) I suppose I confused things because I asked what to look under for info. There is very little on the net about rectal and treatment and outcome are the same. Hah! He said I was one of the special ones.....

Lorikat still in Houston....

lizdeli's picture
Posts: 567
Joined: Jul 2009

Lori you got good news and that is wonderful! Congratulations! The anal versus rectal sounds confusing. Are they saying you had anal cancer that is present in the rectum? Or are they saying you had rectal cancer? From what I learned early on in the journey the treatments (chemos) were different. I was diagonosed with rectal cancer in Colorado or at least they were leaning that way and wanted to discuss my case with the tumor board. At that time they described the treatment for both anal and rectal cancer and I do remember them being different - at least the chemo was. Anyway I didn't wait for them, I went to MDA and they diagonsed me with anal cancer. I had a PET in Colorado and then CT scans at MDA. MDA never did another PET on me. I too asked why and received the same response you did.

Did you ask Dr. Eng the same questions your asked your radiologist? If not you may want to if you have the chance this trip.

So happy all is well! My next visit to MDA is on 2/6/13. I've graduated to six month check ups! Maybe some of our appointments will coincide and we can have a margarita together!

Lorikat's picture
Posts: 680
Joined: Jul 2011

Yes I did ask Dr. Eng as well and she also said rectal squamous cell. Again, very unusual, however they use the same tx as for anal. I don't really know why I have to have a name, I guess I am just "anal". LOL!!!!!! All of my reports STATE rectal SCC but kept hearing anal SCC. I looked them up on the net and there is a difference in makeup....... Hasn't been studied much because it is rare..... Dr. Chang had a trainee in when I had my sigmo today and was explaining to him and it almost makes sense. I imitated you and watched the screen as Dr. Chang showed his observer where the dentate line is and where the "rectal tumor" has been. (you were right, it's interesting.). AND I also asked questions. I am getting bolder...

sephie's picture
Posts: 646
Joined: Apr 2009

i could be wrong but i think that MDA does not do Pet scans anymore for anal cancer. just cat scans. i am a MDA person also. i go back in March. sephie

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