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  • PET Scan for Thyroid nodules

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    Old 03-11-2009, 07:07 PM   #1
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    Oleander53 HB UserOleander53 HB UserOleander53 HB User
    PET Scan for Thyroid nodules

    Can someone explain to me if PET scans are so good at telling about cancer and Mets then why are they not used for the Thyroid? Why do we get ultrasound after ultrasound and have to go through FNAs and such? Why not just do a PET scan and be done with it?

    Just wondering if anyone can explain this to me? I keep seeing them used for other cancer diagnosis so I am wondering why you do not hear of them here as a diagnostic tool.......


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    Old 03-12-2009, 05:18 AM   #2
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    Reece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB User
    Re: PET Scan for Thyroid nodules

    Good question. I don't think they use the pet scan technology for primary cancers, it is a whole body scan.

    All I know is that they use pet scans to find metastices when they know there's cancer, to see if it spread anywhere, but they use other studies such as mri's and catscans to find suspicous cancers in general.

    It works differently than other scans, because it uses glucose as a tracer, the theory is that glucose attracts/feeds cance. It is an expensive test as well, and my mom had it for metasticized breast cancer, and in terms of thyroid cancer, Archie has had one---usually for thyroid cancer they use rai scans because it uptakes the radioiodine and lights up.

    Thyroid cancer is different, and for any cancer at all, they don't know until they check the actual tumor/tissue, no scan---ultrasound or pet, or mri, or catscan can diagnose cancer, only flag suspicion.

    Old 03-12-2009, 04:35 PM   #3
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    Re: PET Scan for Thyroid nodules

    Thanks so much Reece.........Oleander

    Old 07-26-2009, 07:30 PM   #4
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    Re: PET Scan for Thyroid nodules

    I'm a little late here but just wanted to share the wherefores and whys of the PET scans I've had.

    I believe the first ones were done about a year after my surgeries, maybe a little less than a year. I believe my rising Tg level (with clear nuclear scans) is why they were ordered.

    The first one picked up two hot spots, both in the vicinity of the two surgeries. The radiologist attributed the uptake to normal healing of the surgical trauma. In hindsight I believe he was wrong.

    With rising Tg the PET scans became a normal diagnostic tool for my doctors. The second and third ones both reported the same conclusion as the first--uptake in the surgical sites attributed to normal healing.

    At some point (maybe two years after surgery?) the radiologist could no longer pass the hot spots off to normal healing so in the 4th one and every one since the reports suggest the uptake is from tumors in the vicinity of the surgeries. PET scans also found the new one in my spine, a dozen or more tiny ones in my lungs, and the largest one in the right hilar region of the lung involving lymph nodes there.

    My conclusion is the PETs were showing tumors almost from the start but the early results were misinterpreted. Eventually the consistancy and progression they showed prompted a correct diagnosis. For that I am certainly grateful.

    It just occurred to me that the Mayo (where I've been treated since March) has not done any PET scans. Instead they have done three series of CT scans and one ultrasound. I'm thinking PET may be a great way to ID cancer mets but CT may be better at monitoring known tumors.

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