The rampancy of PET scans with lung cancer

A lot of lung cancer survivors particularly those who went through esophageal cancer have PET scans as a part of their regular monitoring for the possible recurrence of cancer, however there was a new study conducted that says a lot of those scans might not be important.  More so, the researchers have discovered that having a costly scan as their first line of defense to diagnose cancer might not help in improving the survival rates. The Pet scans might help in detecting early signs of cancer, however, these tests may be too costly and they are not really important according to experts as their first choice for a long term monitoring or cancer survivors. Medicare restricts the use of follow up PET scans for cancer survivors to just 3 in every patient.

The PET scan is a good technology and it is also highly effective, however, it cannot make any difference for the cancers that were poor in prognosis according to an author at the University of Michigan.  The suitable use of PET scanning in a follow up care for lung cancer is just after the findings on lowering the cost of the imaging choices, he added. The national guidelines call for the said method of using PET scans, according to the researchers; however, this study recommends that they are taken seriously.

PET scan and Medicare

The researchers have checked on the Medicare information from more than a hundred thousand people across the country that have had lung or esophageal cancer in the middle part of year 2000 and they got follow up care in 2011.  There were over 22% of them with lung cancer has survived and they had PET scan without having another type of medical imaging at first. For those who have survived esophageal cancer, 31% of which had a PET scan only according to the study.

The use of PET scans to check on the patients from various hospitals varies. In some hospitals, the scans were never used. In the other hospitals, the advanced innovation was used all the time. Some of the hospitals even used PET scans 8x more than often than the others according to researchers. However, the lung cancer patients who got the follow up at the low PET use hospitals were likely to endure 2 years as those who went through a high PET use hospital according to a research.  The work just showed that no one is getting the 3 limit scan set my Medicare, however with a lot of patients getting the scans throughout the nation; this is still a big number with a very costly expense.