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Hi, I got diagnosed breast cancer a month ago. I have gone through tons of tests, but no PET SCAN.. Should I ask for one? I have surgery next week, but I have not yet met the oncologist.. Should I be concered?

sylvia clark Profile
Asked by

anonymous

Learning About Breast Cancer almost 7 years
 
  • Sharon Danielson Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2007
    My treatment started in 2006 so I also had a ton of tests pre-surgery. I had a CT-Scan instead of a PET Scan, a MUGA, Bone Scan, MRI. I did meet the Oncologist before I had surgery. It was a really miserable time mentally for me. It all happened so fast and it was frightening to me. I had so many questions and as the tests came back my treatment plan became more clear. If I were you, I would talk to your surgeon or oncologist about why you are not receiving a PET scan. They may not feel you need it as they have the pre-diagnostics that are needed for you specific case. Treatment is now very specific and no two women are treated the same way. It all depends on the specific cells that make up your tumor. This is the type of situation you are going in to you need to ask questions and have an answer that will put your mind to rest. Don't be the least bit shy about speaking up about anything. You are going to be your own best advocate. I was able to save myself a second horrific reaction to a medication because the oncologist's office had made a mistake on my chemo "recipe." The infusion nurse and I got into a discussion because she was blowing off my concern. Turns out, I was right, she was wrong. She said, "It's a good thing you were so insistant." (duh...) So... start learning to speak up.... be respectful, but ask your questions. Good luck, I hope you hang out on this board... there are wonderful caring women on this site.
    almost 7 years Flag
    • sylvia clark Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thank u for answering, I just go blank when I see the doctor n when I get home I come up w 200000 questions. I am gonna start writing them down to be able to ask.

      almost 7 years Flag
    • sylvia clark Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thank u for answering, I just go blank when I see the doctor n when I get home I come up w 200000 questions. I am gonna start writing them down to be able to ask.

      almost 7 years Flag
    • Marie Durham Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I hope it all works out for you . I was diagnosed in early Jan of this year with stage two breast cancer . Went through chemo till April of this year had a mastectomy of just left breast where cancer was at. Still undergoing chemo should be done...

      more

      I hope it all works out for you . I was diagnosed in early Jan of this year with stage two breast cancer . Went through chemo till April of this year had a mastectomy of just left breast where cancer was at. Still undergoing chemo should be done with it come middle of Oct I hope. Keep us posted on your outcome. God bless you

      over 5 years Flag
  • Diana Foster Payne Profile
    anonymous
    Stage 4 Patient
    Hi Sylvia. I was given a PET scan prior to the beginning of my treatment, but I had chemo first, then my bilateral mastectomy. I'm not sure it that has anything to do with it or not. I would certainly ask the reasoning behind that decision. You mentioned that you haven't met with your oncologist yet. Do you mean your surgical oncologist (who performs your surgery) or your medical oncologist (who performs your chemo)? If its your surgical oncologist, he/she should be meeting with you soon to discuss the procedure & answer any questions you might have. I would definitely call their office & find out what's going on.
    almost 7 years Comment Flag
  • Erin Timlin Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2011
    I was dx in Oct and also have not had a PET scan. They have examined me and asked a zillion questions and I feel like they just don't have any evidence that it's anywhere else. My last chemo is this Friday so I'm not sure there would be much of a point after that. Definitely ask your oncologist.
    almost 7 years Comment Flag
  • Mary Foti Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2010
    In my experience - I was diagnosed in 2010 - oncologists no longer routinely order these scans - PET, bone, brain, anything - unless there is evidence to suggest that the cancer has spread beyond the breast at he time of diagnosis (positive lymph nodes, etc). There may be other factors involved with the decision to order these tests that I am not familiar with. Every breast cancer - just like every patient - is different; that is why treatments vary so widely now. In my case, my tumor was 1 cm, estrogen positive and I had negative lymph nodes; therefore, I was a good candidate for the (relatively) new Oncotype DX test, which analyzes a sample of your tumor (no additional surgery is needed) and looks at certain genetic characteristics of the cancer cells. The higher the score, the more likely the cancer may recur somewhere else in the body. My score came back very low, so chemo was not recommended as it would (statistically) give me no added survival benefit. Breast cancer treatments have become far more individually targeted over the past several years. PET scans and related tests cannot tell if an early-stage cancer has (or will) spread; that is another reason why they are no longer routine.
    almost 7 years Comment Flag

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