PET scan?

Posted By
7/21/2013 4:02pm
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Replies: 4

Hi Everyone,
So the neurologist is stumped as to why I've had a stroke at 35. All the blood work keeps coming back fine for autoimmune diseases. I had a CT of my head and chest and it came back clear other then a small lung nodule that the radiologist said did not look suspicious. The MRI came back with a small stroke. Considering the doctors can't figure out why I've had a stroke isn't it time to do a PET scan? After my history of melanoma I think it would be warranted. Thoughts?
Thank you,

POW - (7/21/2013 - 7:12pm)

CT scans and MRIs, especially those done with contrast dyes, are much more sensitive and exact for brain tumors than are PET scans. I can imagine how frustrating and frightening it must be to have a stroke from "out of the blue" and not be able to get any explanation. I guess the first question I would ask is whether you had an ischemic stroke (most common type and usually from a blood clot) or a hemorrhagic stroke (much less common and usually from a tumor or or aneurism). Hopefully, your doctors should be able to distinguish those from the CT and MRI you had done.

Everymoment - (7/21/2013 - 7:32pm)


Thanks for the reply. I had an ischemic stroke and apparently it was small. Left frontal.  I think that's why the brain scans picked it up because it had contrast. Several nurses commented at the hospital that if there is a tumor somewhere in my body that it could cause a stroke. I'm starting to wonder if something is somewhere else in my body and I need to have a full scan. I think I'm just really frustrated. I have been through so much and they keep saying that everything is normal and "you look so great." Well, I don't feel so great and someone is missing something somewhere!!!!!!!!



POW - (7/21/2013 - 8:53pm)

Melanoma tumors bleed easily, no matter where they are in your body. If your stroke was caused by melanoma, it would be a hemorragic stroke not an ischemic stroke. The nurse(s) who said a tumor anywhere in your body could cause a stroke may have meant that bleeding tumors in your body can "throw a clot" (i.e. cause an embolism) that could, possibly, travel to your lungs or your brain. That would be a very, very rare situation and would probably be easily visualized on a CT or MRI. I wouldn't pay a heck of a lot of attention to what the nurse(s) said.

I seriously doubt that your stroke was caused by melanoma. Perhaps you should go to a really top-notch neurologist or neurosurgeon at a major medical center and try to determine the cause of your stroke. Yes, of course, you want to understand the cause of the stroke so it doesn't happen again. But I suggest you take the focus off of melanoma. 

Everymoment - (7/22/2013 - 8:07am)

You have some good points. I think I'm just trying to look at it from all angles. When doctors can't figure things out it makes me nervous. I've also learned that once you start going down one road, if you have to do a 180 it's very hard to start down a different path in a timely manner. You know what I mean?

Plus, I have a hard time trusting after the last dermatologist swore it was not melanoma and told me I worry two much. Turned out to be a very serious melanoma.

I guess I keep landing in the 1% of situations!