Questions about tests performed

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 3/29/2008 12:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Since being diagnosed in mid January I have had in order
1.  My urologist (hour and a half away)ordered 
     a. bone scan - Negative but questions about ribs
     b. x-rays and CT of chest - Negative
2.  MD Anderson (3 hours away) then said the prostate is in the pelvic area so why not a CT of the Pelvic so that was done and determined negative.
3.  I go to U of Florida Proton Therapy Institute (800 miles away) and they:
    a.  do another CT of the pelvis.
    b.  They order a PET Scan to be done locally (2 hours away) - Awaiting Results
    c.  They order a Prostascint Scan to be done locally (2 hours away) - Awaiting Results
I have read and been told the reason for each of these tests and I think I now understand what each is supposed to show.  From what I learned is the bone scan is to show if there is bone metastis.  The CT should show any tumors or bone lesions that are present.  I was told the PET scan shows any tumors in a more definitive manner than the other previous tests.  I have learned that the Prostascint Scan is PCa specific and picks up area of PCa cells especially in the lymp nodes. 
I know there is a nice cost of each of these tests BUT in my case I have had 3 CTs, x-rays, and a PET Scan before I had the Prostascint Scan.  I estimate the cost of these tests are well over $12,000.  I have not seen a bill for the Prostascint Scan but surely it could not cost more than all the other tests combined.
My question is.  Why not cut through the chase and do an initial Prostascint Scan (could have been done 2 months ago) and get a more definitive answer from the get-go.  It seems to me it would save time and money and definately help define the best possible treatment for the patient.  I sit here waiting and become more confused and frustrated with each test to determine what treatment, and when, is awaiting me.
Maybe I don't understand all that I think I do but this whole process seems flawed. 
Retired USAF Richard & Debbie on The Shores of Toledo Bend Lake Louisiana
Neg Bios 1997 & 2000 PSA within considered normal range
11/06 PSA 1.9 PSA 11/07 was 4.9 PSA 12/07 was 7.7 MDA 2/12/08 3.3 On Proscar so shud double
Biospy 1/10/08 Gleason score (4+5)9, Stage T1C  8 of 12 samples positive 
Bone scan 1/17/08 hot spot on ribs, CT shows rib enjury CT CHest 1/30/08 Clear
M.D. Anderson appt 2/12/08 CT Abdomin & Pelvis Clear Recommended Hormone&Radiation
2/19/08 Dr Fagin, Austin, TX did not recommend surgery based on medical history
2/22/08 Contacted U of Florida Proton Therapy Institute - Appt 3/13/08 awaiting acceptance
Scheduled for PET Scan and Prostascint Scan 2/24 - 3/2/08 Lake Charles, LA
Turn Stumbling Blocks into Steping Stones and Keep Smiling

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 3/29/2008 1:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Prostascint does not show everything. That test show the outflow of blood and PC cells that leaves the prostate better than the others but not in every case. Keep in mind that cells can become mutated enough to no longer look or act like prostate cells. But I do side with you on this. I think the cost of the prostascint probably plays into it. Protocol for radiation also requires that the other organs and bones be analyzed before, during and after treatment by radiation. Prostascint does nothing for verifying that other tissue is being irradiated. MRI/CT/and PET do so much better at mapping your body before treatment.

Age 45 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007
Post-Op Pathology: Gleason 4+3=7, positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (1/08): <0.1
I will continue HT until May '09. 
Years in Remission (3/23/07): 1
Visit my Journey at:
Prostate Cancer Forum Moderator

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