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Pet vs CT-late stage


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I am curious how other doctors monitor - later stage non small cell survivors.

In Jan 2006 they found mets in my spine and pelvis bone. The lesions disappeared within a month of treatment.

Since that time I have only received pet scans to see if the cancer is back anywhere (every 8-10 weeks). Occasionally I am given brain and spine mri's due to possible mets symptoms-never finding a problem.

My fear stems back to my initial diagnosis. The pet scan I had showed cancer in my lung, but not on the 21 lymph nodes that were found to be cancerous.

So......Is the doctor only looking for the "big stuff", and not worried about anything smaller due to my stage? OR

........Is this standard protocal?

........Should I "not borrow trouble"?

........Should I be having both tests?

Thanks for the input everyone,


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Don’t borrow trouble. I just talked to my oncologist about this today. He said that the PET scan will pick up cancer before it may appear on a CT scan. My spot showed on my hip in the PET scan and did not show on the CT scan. You can get a false positive from the PET scan and that is why my oncologist is taking a wait and see attitude. The only reason I get both is because the FAA requires it for my medical. I think you are getting the best scans for early detection.

Stay positive, :)


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You are getting the best type with the PET. I was diagnosed in '00, and have been tracked with CT and MRI, as there is no original PET for comparison. Most recent scans were dropped to just CT and xray, once a year, from pelvis to neck.

The PET is the more comprehensive, from what I understand. So it looks like you're being screened most thoroughly.

Since I was diagnosed, I feel as though I'll always be "looking over my shoulder and waiting for the other shoe to drop".

I think this is a pretty common thing among surivors. So.... my advice is, chin up and think positive.



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