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I had a melanoma surgically removed from the back of my neck about two years ago. Biopsy indicated 0.2 mm, Clark Level 2. Check up every six months. Last checkup, my dermatologist wanted to do a pet scan. I questioned it based on other opinions on the internet. Primary physician was not sure. So about a week later, I went to a different dermatologist and they did another full body exam. They did a biopsy on two spots on my back that were questionable. Turns out, one was melanoma. Again, about the same level as the one on my neck. It had been there for at least two years. I could not believe the first doctor missed it. Today, I go in for consultation with the oncologist. I am just trying to decide on the necessity of the pet scan.
- November 9, 2020 at 1:17 pm
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as told to me last week by onc, PET scan looks at metabolizing cells, that is melanoma cells multiplying and dividing. CT scan looks at the mass.
- November 9, 2020 at 2:23 pm
CT is basically a glorifed x-ray. if the tumor is too small it may not reveal itself on a CT scan but PET might.
why the hesitancy to get scanned?
gopher38ParticipantOne hesitancy might be the cost. I had my first PET scan, which ran ~$9K, initially denied by insurance. I think basically they were saying that it was out of order. That the order should have been melanoma found, WLE/sentinel biopsy, and then – if positive – a PET scan. Well, that is how my treatment went, and I was eventually after MUCH work able to get the denial overturned, but I think they might not have paid if the PET was done before the sentinel biopsy. Anyway, I’d check with insurance beforehand.
- November 9, 2020 at 3:50 pm
I am a patient (stage IV) at Smilow Cancer Center @ Yale – New Haven Hospital. In my twelve years of treatment and watch, I have ever had a PET scan. They believe that CT scans and brain MRIs provide them with all the information they need.
- November 9, 2020 at 4:14 pm
That makes two of us because I have never had a PET scan in my two plus years dealing with melanoma. My melanoma oncologists both say that they recommend a PET scan if a patient is thinking of going off treatment and still has residual tumors. I guess in that case, they want to see if the remaining tumors are necrotic, etc. I understand that one can get a mini CT scan at the same rime as the PET scan so it maybe beneficial and kill two birds with one stone.
- November 11, 2020 at 12:27 am
Well, after all that worrying, the oncologist said that I do not need a PET Scan. Just keep a close eye on that skin and lymph nodes.
- November 9, 2020 at 11:10 pm
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