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All TopicsForum: IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) → Topic: MRI VS PET / PEM SCANS


Forum: IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) — Just diagnosed, in treatment, or finished treatment for IDC.

Posted on: Sep 14, 2008 01:04AM

daisyhope wrote:

Saw Oncol surgeon today. Was told stage 1 but that it was grade 3.  Told i would have to decide between mastectomy or lumpectomy but that "your type cancer" shows no data showing a better survival rate one way or the other. Told I will have to have Chemo & Radiation.  Told 40% chance that it may have spread to rest of body.  Surgery in about 2 weeks. Also they ordered an MRI on both my breasts and one on my head.

  Someone else on this site had a PET / PEM scan ... she told me it looked at her bones and all her organs.  Is this better than MRI?  I am wondering if it is more accurate if the doctor is not ordering it because there is not one at his facility.   But I would be willing drive to one that is near (I understand they have one at the Mayo... not too far to drive).  Should I ask or suggest it?  Anyone know the difference or if it is better or more helpful than an MRI?

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Sep 14, 2008 04:13PM - edited Sep 14, 2008 04:22PM by vhqh

I don't know about a PET/PEM scan, I know the PET/CT scans are considered better as they can correlate them together better.  From what I read the PEM is very similar to a PET only it scans just the breast and can spot much smaller tumors with greater accuracy.  PET scans are expensive and insurance companies tend to balk at paying for them without a diagnosis or symptom to support it, I would suspect PEM might be treated the same.  Also not all doctors believe in them.  Since your doctor is also wanting to look at your head, if it was me I'd go ahead with the MRI.  Breast MRIs are reported to be 70 to 90% accurate and the PEM claims to be "up to" 90% accurate.

edited to add - here's a good article regarding PEM - 


IDC, er+/pr +, her2 +++, stage IV
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Oct 12, 2008 10:03PM lovinmomma wrote:

I am having all the tests done.  MRI, PET and PEM.  The docs figured if I was already radiated for the PET, they might as well do the PEM also.  I have been told that the PEM is highly accurate but are very expensive.  My oncologist said it was not necesary, but the imaging center needs to do more to learn more about them, so they are doing it.

Kimberly 45 yo fighter Dx 10/1/2008, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 26/26 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/2/2008 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/7/2009 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 5/12/2009 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 7/10/2011 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 9/24/2012 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 1/28/2013 Halaven (eribulin) Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine)

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