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Looking for info on P.E.T scan

Nancy O.

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Hi all. I finally found a place in my area that does pet scans. Was told that a whole body scan would cost about $1900.00. Does not sound too bad since ct scan runs me about $2600.00. I know that they show some false positives, but was wondering is anyone has anything negative or positive to report on it. May ask my doctor for an order to have one done in January at my next scheduled oncologist visit. I wonder do they do the brain/head also? Is that included in the whole body scan? I'll have to call unless someone here has the answer. Thanks for the reply's in advance.

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Hi Nancy,

I asked my doctor about PET scans. She told me that they sometimes give false readings. If you have had a lot of CT (I had about 15 of them) scans. The readings from a PET scan and CT scan can differ. So you might want to double check with your doctor first. But everyone is different when it comes to treatments and what tests are needed as well as what each doctor will do. I guess that's why they get the big bucks. No two treatments are alike. It is a very complicated disease. I have an excellent doctor so I do trust her judgment when I ask her tons of questions and what treatment and test she suggest for me so that helps a lot. She has never held back on any (had almost every test their is) test if I needed one. But her opinion at this time a Pet scan was not needed. Hope this helps. It is very very confusing at times. Good luck. Take care and God Bless.

Rich :lol::lol::lol::lol:


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Well first, that's a cheap PET scan! The bill for my husbands was picked up by insurance but it was quite a bit more.

Our onc explained to us that the CT scan will tell him there's a tumor but it will not tell if the cancer is active. The PET scan will light up wherever there is active cancer. When my husband had his PET scan we found that one of the tumors was dead but one was still active. You could not tell that from the CT scan.

Best of luck to you.

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Sam posted about this a while ago. There is a new device. A combination PET and CT scanner. It will locate nodules (via the CT) and the corresponding metabolic activity (via the PET).

There are a few in the DC area (I anne arundal medical center, hopkins, maybe others)


BTW, my mom had a pet scan. It did not show medistinal involvement.

Pet scans are around 90% accurate

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have had 2 PET scans and I believe they were about twice as expensive as the ct scan. According to my radiation oncologist, they currently have to use software to match the ct scan to the PET scan. The treatment center where I go is installing a new machine that does both scans at once. However if I still have radiation pneumonitis when my scan is scheduled early Feb. they will only do a ct scan because according to her the PET scan would not be accurate under those conditions. I understood it would give a false positive. Hope this info helps.

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Thanks everyone for the information on the pet scan. It sounds as if the combination scan is the way to go. I have an oncologist appt in Jan 2004, and wanted to discuss where I'm at with my testing at that time. I've been getting chest xrays regularly, now six months apart, but not much else for the last year or so. I feel good and count my blessings, but always concerned about recurrance of course.

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Everything above is about right. The PET/CT is best if you can get it. some hospitals are using software to combine a CT and PET, done close in time, on different machines to try to get the same accuracy as the PET/CT done on one machine at the same time. I'm told it works pretty well.

The tech told me that a 'whole body Pet scan" is what they call an "eyes to thighs" scan. the brain is not included because the brain is normally very PET active so tumors can't be picked out of the background activity. An MRI with contrast is the best way to look at the brain. Arms and legs aren't included except for shoulders and hips. Met's on distal arms and legs rarely occurr and are usually suspected based on pain and best evaluated with other methods.

$1,900 is a good price but you might do even better if you agree to pay in full at the time of service. Don't be afraid to ask.

Good luck.


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