• I would like a PET or body scan done,my oncologist says "No,they wait for symptoms of metastatic cancer first."

    Asked by Irishsurvivor on Sunday, February 12, 2012

    I would like a PET or body scan done,my oncologist says "No,they wait for symptoms of metastatic cancer first."

    Why don't they do PET or body scans to see if my breast cancer has gone somewhere else? Has anyone else had their oncologist tell them this. What are the statistics of finding false positives on these scans compared to finding cancer that should be treated?

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • mishkat's Avatar

      I had 3b adenocarcinoma. Was given a PET prior to lobectomy, which was clear except for the dx'd R lung. 2 nodes closest to tumor showed uptake and so I did chemo and then radiation. Completed tx in July 2012 and have had clear chest CTs since then. I, too, asked about PET scans and my dr said no because of radiation exposure, I have no symptoms and because sometimes scar tissue and other conditions "light up", potentially leading to unnecessary anxiety/testing/procedures. I do still want one, however. My cancer was an incidental finding and I worry that if there is a next time, it won't be caught until it's too late. But I'm also trying to balance this with being calm, rational and practical about my life post-cancer tx.

      over 4 years ago
    • twinkledawnn's Avatar

      Sorry for the late reply, but I just found this. I hope you are in good health. To answer your question regarding PET scan. They don't order them because they are expensive. American medicine is interested in $$ and not saving lives. This is the simplest reason and it is true no matter how much double talk you here from people in the system.

      about 2 years ago
    • LJJ's Avatar

      I had Stage 1 breast cancer and after surgery and radiation treatments, I spoke with my oncologist about testing going forward. She indicated that I should only have my yearly mammogram. I did have a PET scan early on before surgery and a CAT scan etc. I asked about MRI's and she started talking about what insurance would cover. I told her that she was talking about insurance and not medicine. Conclusion was that I would have a mammogram and six months later an MRI which I will have to pay for. Doctors often negotiate lower cash prices for their patients and that's what will happen for me. It's worth peace of mind. You can always ask what the cash price is for testing...it is much lower than the price charged to insurance. Asking doesn't hurt.

      about 1 year ago

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