Scan Type Questions

Posted By
2/4/2011 11:41am
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Replies: 2

Hello   I had a recent PET scan, which showed slightly increased intensity in a spot that's been lighting up in my chest for a few months (but only 2.7), plus a new spot in my hip at 4.4 SUV.  The report suggests MRI with contrast to further evaluate the area; my doctor ordered a CT scan, though.  I am a little confused on which is more appropriate and in what situations.  I would like to see a specialist soon, but am very far away from any and also want to get the ball rolling on these scans.  I'm currently stage 3A... hoping it stays that way...  any input is appreciated, there is so much information to learn and things to consider, it's very overwhelming. Thank you.

lhaley - (2/4/2011 - 1:57pm)

I have a PET/CT combination scan every 3 months.  When they have found suspicious areas they have biopsied. One of my latest was a node under the collar bone. It had been lighting up slightly for over a year and when it showed more activity they biopsied - it was melanoma.  From what I understand an MRI is more conclusive then a ct.  A Ct with contrast is more specific than a CT without contrast. 

PETS are known for false positives so don't freak yet! I would definitely ask your Doctor why he didn't order an MRI. I would also find out why your not having PET/CT's since they yield more info than just PET's.  Being stage 3A how often do you get scanned?

Let us know,


Stage IV scan in 2 weeks

MsKage - (2/4/2011 - 2:47pm)

Thanks Linda. I appreciate the input.  I apologzie for not specifying that I had a PET/CT.  The CT was not very high resolution, though.  I believe that the thinking behind my doctor's order for a CT scan (w/contrast) is that it would be better for imaging the soft tissue, bone and chest area.  She also wants to check if I am clotting properly due to some shortness of breath and anemia.  I've been researching CT/MRI and it seems like they both have their own advantages/disadvantages depending on the situation. 

Thank you for the assurance also.  I am most concerned about the 4.4 spot in my hip, which was not evident two months ago.  It appears to contains a lymph node, some bowel and possibly bone.   I've had no infections, trama, surgery, etc. in that area.  Past areas of infection and surgery lit up at about 1.3-2.1 but are gone now. 

At Stage 3A, they recommended annual PET scans unless I should experience any symptoms of concern.   The reason for this recent scan is because I had a scan two months ago with abnormal mediastinal activity that they wanted to "wait and watch". Unfortunately, I'm also experiencing worrysome symptoms, so it makes me even more paranoid.  Trying to take deep breaths and just see what happens.

Thank you again.  Best of luck.