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NPC scan types and frequency

CherriBlossom's picture
Posts: 44
Joined: Mar 2012

I have been reading alot of folks here typically get six month PET/CT scans after treatment but never heard anyone who had PET/CT/MRI scans.  I have been out of treatment since December of 2011 and have had 5 PET/CT/MRI scans so far.  I am having my 6th PET/CT/MRI scan in June.  Besides the cost associated with the scans, just curious on why some of us get CT only or PET/CT or in my case PET/CT/MRI every 6 months since my diagnosis.  My post treatment scans have been NED so do you think my doctor is orver-ordering of scans?  Just concern with increasing the risk of radiation exposure. 

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

I am going on four years post Tx, I get a CT at six months, then a PET six months later... I presume that will go on for another year..., haven't asked.

But if you feel he is over zealous, ask why a PET/CT/MRI every six months... I know in my case, a PET is around $8000, a CT more closer to $1200 - $2000. I think I'd be hard pressed to convice my insurance company a need for a PET every six months.

So ask..., is there something of concern that a PET/CT/MRI can detail better....


phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4672
Joined: Mar 2012

2 PETS...one at diagnosis, and one at 3 months out, and one contrast CT at 6 months....I wish my Dr. was offering up a PET here and there....butt to nose, just to make sure I don't have anything lurking anywhere else.


Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009


I am NPC 3 times over, and for the first few years I did MRI and PET every 6 months and sometime more, but all my scans came up positive with a lot of hot spots, or that is what I was told by the local doctors. Finally my Caretaker Wife said she wanted me to get a second opinion so we went to MDA and did the same test and it was NED. After a while you need to ask your doctor is it necessary to have a PET or MRI every 6 month if they are all NED; see if you can go to every 12 or 18 Months. I am like you I don’t like the idea of all that radiation being put into my body again; it can’t be good for you. You have to make the call, and the best way to do that is to confront your Oncal Doctor and have a heart to heart talk with him.


God Bless


rachel12yrsuv's picture
Posts: 435
Joined: Feb 2013


Everytime I had a pet scan I would get MRI next and the CT scan all to prove that the pet had lit up false positives or there where nodules they wanted to triple check. Funny though, my CT scan never led to MRI and Pet so I always wondered why they just didn't do a CT and stop scaring the crap out of me! Lol

I think its up to your Doc, if worried about all the radiation, bring it up, its your right to ask questions!

God Bless, hope you keep getting NED(I was NPC.stage 3 in 2000)


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