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When to do a PET scan?

Guest kjdenver

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Guest kjdenver

My father was just diagnosed last week with IIIb squamous cell NSCLC in the lung and lymph nodes. He starts radiation/chemo therapy on Monday. When should he go for a PET scan? Is the purpose of the PET scan to detect whether it has spread to the brain or bone marrow? I'm not clear when this test is initated and how it differs from the CT Scan.

Prayers this morning go out to everyone on this board.


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Hi Kevin,

How was your father diagnosed? Did he have a biopsy that determined he was IIIb? What alerted them to do a biopsy? A CT scan?

A PET scan "lights up" suspicious spots and determines they are cancer. They are about 85-90% reliable. They might do a bone scan on your dad to make sure it hasnt invaded the bones (Im pretty sure bone mets can but not always show up on a PET too). They might do an MRI of the brain but they didnt for my father and I always wondered if they didnt because the PET didnt show anything.

They might do a PET on your dad after chemo to make sure there are no active cancer cells present.

Let me know if I can help you in any way, my father has had 2 PET scans.

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It is my understanding the a pet is used to determine malignancies. Mine did. It lit up for an 8/10ths of a CM nodule. Pretty sensitive.

It is a wonderful tool, almost Star Trek like. Yet another step towards reliable non-invasive diagnosis, and hopefully treatment in the future.

I don't understand why we, as victims, can't have this done as part of our regualr routine. Ugh..the HMOs. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em!

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