I just had mammogram showing huge lymph node? under right arm and small streaks in right breast. They want to biopsy both. I’m wondering if it’s ok to insist on PET first? Wouldn’t a PET show if it’s cancer and if so if there’s any other areas needing biopsied? I get bad keloid scarring from anything and would rather avoid biopsy scarring if a PET might prove it non-cancerous.
My doctor is a very (very) laid back family practitioner. I had to push for the mammogram. (Age 39)
So if I get a PET I will have to push for it, she will order if I do insist though.
I realize other things can show on a PET, but it seems like it would confirm or rule out cancer in those specific locations. Asking here, I know I will need a more involved Dr if this turns out true, but atm she’s all I have.
Welcome to GRACE. I’m sorry to hear of these concerning findings from your mammogram. There is no harm in getting a PET scan (other than cost), but PET scans do not confirm cancer. The scan will not differentiate between cancer, inflammation or infection, and only a biopsy will confirm the existence of cancer cells. Since it seems pretty clear that something is going on with the lymph node, it is fairly likely that it will light up on the PET scan and you’ll need to proceed to a biopsy anyway.
Good luck with your follow-up.
Jul 2008 Wife Liz (51/never smoker) Dx Stage IV NSCLC EGFR exon 19
4 cycles Carbo/alimta, 65% shrinkage
Mar 2010 progression, added Alimta, stable
Sep 2010 multiple brain mets, WBR
Oct 2010 large pericardial effusion, tamponade
Jan 2011 progression, start abraxane
Jun 2011-New liver, brain mets, add Tarceva
Oct 2011-Dx Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; pulsed Tarceva
At rest Nov 4 2011
Since then: http://cancergrace.org/blog/jim-and-lisa
PET scans are not usually done in this situation. If there’s a clearly accessible enlarged node and/or breast lump, that’s usually biopsied directly, under ultrasound guidance, before jumping to a PET scan.