In 2018 I had a PET scan at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC and was diagnosed with an aggressive and extensive stage 4 Lymphoma. I started chemotherapy immediately.
After two rounds of chemo, I had a follow up PET scan which, thankfully, showed no cancer. My third PET scan was done six months later to check my progress and no cancer was seen. But I have concern over the quality of one of my PET scans. For my first two scans, Baptist used a technology to check the effectiveness of the injection of radiopharmaceutical I was given for the PET scan. This gave me great comfort knowing the radiopharmaceutical was injected properly and circulating through my body and localizing in the tumors.
For my third scan, this technology was not available, and it made me question the validity of the scan. Did I have a cancer still growing somewhere because my injection wasn’t good? I don’t feel secure without the technology. I understand the Nuclear Regulatory Commission does not regulate infiltrations, even when patients get too much radiation exposure. This policy needs to change. Why would you not offer this to every patient? For someone like me, it could be a matter of life or death.