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Thread: PET Scan

  1. #1

    PET Scan

    I have been reading a lot about people beating cancer in one location only to find it pop up somewhere else in their body. If I had a PET Scan that showed that there was no cancer anywhere else except the original spot (rectal) does that mean for now I am good? Or would the cancer already be showing up if I were going to develop it in the future? [/b]
    6/26/09 - Diagnosed with Rectal Cancer - Stage 3

  2. #2
    Regular User
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    Have you had surgery or are you going to have surgery. I don't know if everyone is the same. My husband when he had the surgery had 16 out of 32 lymph nodes be positive for cancer. He then did chemo and everything was negative for about a year. Then it spread to several other organs. I believe it spread through the lymph nodes and sometimes the chemo does not kill all the cancer cells. This is when it shows up in other places. I am sure other;s will be able to give you better answers but the surgery and chemo are very important to stop the spread before it advances to other tissues.

    Hope this will help.
    Tam

    Husband is 55 years old, has metastic colon cancer, with Lung, Liver, kidney currently Colon surgery 5/07 with chemo, 9/08 Chemo started
    10/08 Scan in Dec 08 (Grown) Scan Feb 09 (Grown with liver, both lungs , Kidney)
    3.5 cm lung, 5 cm kidney, 4.5 renal, 2.6 iliac lymph etc. CEA 166 8/25/09 Nothing has slowed it down, we have stopped chemo, due to side effects and lack of any results, he is admitted to Hospice on 12/30/09. We will enjoy what we have Husband passed away 2/14/2010

  3. #3
    I have not had the surgery yet. I am on the second week of chemo and radiation. The doctor says I have one tumor and 2 lymph nodes that look suspicious. So even though the PET Scan shows no other signs of cancer, it really doesn't mean anything then? How quickly does it show up in other body parts? I dread is that even after the cancer is gone... it really wont' be because I hear so much about it showing up again and again in people.
    6/26/09 - Diagnosed with Rectal Cancer - Stage 3

  4. #4
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    Just keep the faith and get through the chemo and surgery. Gary's sister had a colonoscopy after we found his, she is 10 year younger. She had 2 lymph nodes and had chemo after. She has check clear now for all most 2 years, her CEA is down and scan show no reoccurance. I wanted you to know this because it does happen that people stay clear after. I will pray that you found your early and that all will go well. Keep positive thoughts and use the strength to continue to be well. So much depends on when you find it, state of mind and only what GOD has given us. Don't dwell on the what if, live for everything you can do today, and down the road will take care of itself.

    Keep positive, you must be in good hands, and enjoy your life.
    Tam

    Husband is 55 years old, has metastic colon cancer, with Lung, Liver, kidney currently Colon surgery 5/07 with chemo, 9/08 Chemo started
    10/08 Scan in Dec 08 (Grown) Scan Feb 09 (Grown with liver, both lungs , Kidney)
    3.5 cm lung, 5 cm kidney, 4.5 renal, 2.6 iliac lymph etc. CEA 166 8/25/09 Nothing has slowed it down, we have stopped chemo, due to side effects and lack of any results, he is admitted to Hospice on 12/30/09. We will enjoy what we have Husband passed away 2/14/2010

  5. #5
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    PET Scan

    Hi Vicki,

    I think I can clear up some things here. A PET scan is sometimes used to look for other cancer occurrences throughout the body. The PETs typically provide a 5mm slice scan and, depending on the orders from the oncologist, can do a 1mm slice scan. This means that at 5mm, it is looking for cancer spots that are at least 5mm in size or larger. This is a pretty small dot on a liver or lung (typical places that colon cancer goes). Negative results from a PET scan are no doubt good news. However, remember, cancer 'cells' are just that......cells. ...very small little critters. If the cancer is smaller than 5mm or 1mm, the PET will not pick it up.

    The good news is that the chemo you are taking is really good stuff and designed to be delivered via the blood stream. That chemo will go everywhere blood goes in your body and kill those cancer cells.

    It DOES mean something for that PET to come back negative¦. It means that your cancer has not metastasized! This is a REALLY good thing. The differences in treatment, and prognosis between a stage III and stage IV is huge. Don't ask "when will it show up in other body parts¦." Instead, tell yourself that it WON'T show up again at all. Don't worry about ˜other people'. Other people don't apply to you¦.statistics don't apply to you. You are going to beat this no matter what.

    I have a very good friend up here at work who is 23 and was diagnosed with stage III B colon cancer. He is now finished with all his chemo and is cancer free. He is making plans to get his port removed and is now playing on a national Ultimate Frisbee team. This can be you in six months¦.maybe without the ultimate.

    You might ask your doctor if he/she plans to do a biopsy on those two lymph nodes. I would also ask when they plan on removing the primary tumor in the colon. I have known some that choose not to remove the primary. I'm not a medical professional but I'd think you would want that gone.

    Please feel free to call or write anytime if you have questions. Please also rely on the good people on this and other cancer related message boards. They are a wealth of information and are priceless.

    Keep your chin up, Vicki. God Bless,

    Keith
    Keith Friend
    keith@friendfamily.net
    www.caringbridge.org/visit/keithfriend
    (214) 793-0519 Cell
    (817) 424-3395 Home
    (972) 906-3928 Work
    Diagnosed at with stage 4 colon cancer 6/18/08.
    Primary surgery on July, ‘08
    12 rounds of FOLFOX + Avastin
    28 rounds of Avastin
    Spleenectomy July '09
    Radiation to Liver Sept. '09
    Liver Resection (Attempted) April '10
    49 rounds of FOLFIRI + Vectabix
    On Vectabix and Xeloda now
    116 rounds of chemo as of Feb. 2013 and Feeling Great!

  6. #6
    Thank you so much for the responses. I feel better. Cancer is an emotional roller coaster. May God Bless you all.
    6/26/09 - Diagnosed with Rectal Cancer - Stage 3

  7. #7
    Experienced User
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    Mar 2008
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    Vicki, your question is similar to what my brother Doug asked when first diagnosed "What are my chances?" The doc sat him down and said "I can't answer that question. I do know that no matter what treatment they get, 70% of the people with your diagnosis do not survive 5 years. But I do not know if you are in that 70% group or the lucky 30%. And I do know that everybody in the lucky 30% have opted for full treatment. So until we know which group you are in, we are going to try every trick in the book! Our motto is going to be: we will hope for the best, but plan for the worst."

  8. #8
    Senior User
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    georgia
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    pet scan

    hi..big difference in malignant and mastastic. i have had several pet scans and many cat and mri scans. pet scan was looking to see if area in question was hot. they gave me radio active glucose. the tumor must have nourishment and will take up more than surrounding tissue. with the isotobe the area will show red {hot} if malignant, and nothing if benign. i have had only one false pos. and it was quickly found with a scope to be where colon was reconnected. the same scan showed hot areas in liver and follow up needle biopsy was positive. since it was the same cancer as was found in my colon proved it was mastastic {spreading}. many procedures later i'm still here. now they can do a combo. cat/pet at many imaging centers but the cost may be preventive in some cases. hope this helps. i'm no doctor and i'm just relaying my own experience and what i have been told by my caregivers. i wish you the best ...bruce henderson

 
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