Is there a standard for using PET scans rather than CT scans for surveillance? I have had 9 PET scans since my diagnosis in May 2015 of ALK positive lung cancer. I only was recently switched to CT scan due to insurance denial of PET. My oncologist told me she prefers PET because it is easier to read, is this common? I am being treated at a major cancer center.
I’m sorry for the confusion. After diagnosis there’s no data to suggest PET changes outcomes in cancer care. However it does add huge costs which is probably why your insurance refuses to pay. Another issue with PET is many people want to change treatment prematurely with a hint of progression that can only be seen by a PET when otherwise a person might get quite a bit more mileage out of that treatment before moving on. Even if you stay the course knowing progression is coming the added stress of knowing is never needed. With cancer ignorance can be bliss. Dr. West has suggested some oncs prefer PETs because they are paying for the equipment.
CT remains the gold standard of surveillance with lower costs and best outcomes.