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Do PET Scans scan the brain?


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When my husband had his PET a week and a half ago, it was to see if the cancer has spread. It has spread to his ribs and pelvis. I am wondering if the PET also checks the brain? I am probably just paranoid but my husband has mentioned head rushes when he gets up from a seated position lately and one spell almost knocked him down. I mentioned it to the Nurse Practioner at the cancer center last week but my husband dismissed them as just head rushes so the nurse prac. didn't think there was any concern there. I am sure it could be a number of things besides brain mets, I was just wondering if the PET would pick it up if that was the case though. Obviously I will bring it up again when we meet with Onc#2 and #3.

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The problem with PET scans and the brain is that the brain is so active on its own that there will be a lot of activity going on there, a lot of the sugar taken up by active areas of the brain, that it is really not a good way to look for any brain mets, you'd see too much activity that in actuality is not cancer but just normal, active brain tissue.

Definitely bring it up with the doctors and make sure it doesn't get downplayed. Good luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...
"ChristinaMarie"]When my husband had his PET a week and a half ago, it was to see if the cancer has spread.
My doctor was nice enough to say that my cancer was "not curable, but it's treatable". She gave me a booklet about lung cancer to take home. Somewhere in the booklet, it said "stage IV, life expectancy 6 months." At the time, it was actually a relief to know what was wrong, even if it was lung cancer. Things have improved some since then. Some new treatments have come out, which turned out to be very good for me. I was 48 years old then and I'm 53 now.

From reading this site, it sounds like adding the drug Avastin (Bevacizumab) to first-line chemo is not yet common practice. I think it may be soon. Something to look into.

David in Chicago

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