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CT or PET/CT?


Barb1260

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Supposed to do a PET/CT next week but the insurance is giving us a hard time. Doc said if not will try to get precert for a CT. I’ve read people getting either but which is better?

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Barb,

That is a tough question. A PET is useful for staging cancer or determining distant metastasis locations. Today, it is common to have a CT scan in combination with the PET but I'm told the CT portion of the scan is not of diagnostic quality. Its purpose is to locate metastatic areas but it doesn't show shape, size or characteristics.

For lung tumors, my oncologist prefers a CT scan administered with contrast. The contrast media allows the radiologist to discern differences between the tumor and lung tissue that is helpful in sizing and characterizing.

So I think the answer is which test depends on the situation.  A PET scan is very helpful in staging but a CT scan is useful in tracking and characterizing.

Stay the course.

Tom

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