20 doctors weighed in:
Could I have a pet scan to check for colon cancer instead of having a colonoscopy?
20 doctors weighed in

Dr. Donald Kim
Surgery - Colorectal
15 doctors agree
In brief: I agree, No
Pet-ct scans are typically used after a diagnosis of cancer to look for other spread of the tumor. If you are looking for an alternative to routine colonoscopy, ct-colonography or virtual colonoscopy is an option.
This still involves a bowel prep but requires no sedation. If something is found, you may still need a colonoscopy. Insurance companies are not quite on-board paying for this as yet.

In brief: I agree, No
Pet-ct scans are typically used after a diagnosis of cancer to look for other spread of the tumor. If you are looking for an alternative to routine colonoscopy, ct-colonography or virtual colonoscopy is an option.
This still involves a bowel prep but requires no sedation. If something is found, you may still need a colonoscopy. Insurance companies are not quite on-board paying for this as yet.
Dr. Donald Kim
Dr. Donald Kim
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1 comment
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
PET costs 4-5 times colonoscopy, would be less accurate, and you still need a colonoscopy if it were positive. A waste of time and money, not medically indicated, so no insurer should pay, nor any doctor prescribe.
Dr. Arthur Heller
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology
7 doctors agree
In brief: No
Pet scans may check for activity of cancers.
The goal of screening is to find polyps before they are cancers (to remove them). Colonoscopy can screen u if no symptoms, signs, and diagnose (maybe treat) u if there are symptoms, signs. "virtual" colonoscopy (special ct) may not find small (<6mm, or flat abn). Any ? Lesions need reg. Colonoscopy to confirm, dx, rx. If ca, eval incl ct scan.

In brief: No
Pet scans may check for activity of cancers.
The goal of screening is to find polyps before they are cancers (to remove them). Colonoscopy can screen u if no symptoms, signs, and diagnose (maybe treat) u if there are symptoms, signs. "virtual" colonoscopy (special ct) may not find small (<6mm, or flat abn). Any ? Lesions need reg. Colonoscopy to confirm, dx, rx. If ca, eval incl ct scan.
Dr. Arthur Heller
Dr. Arthur Heller
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Dr. Sergio Casillas-Romero
Surgery - Colorectal
4 doctors agree
In brief: No
Pet scans are used to diagnosed possible care in any organ of thug an body.
However a positive result is not necessarily specific for colon cancer. Colonoscopy is more sensitive and specific to detect colon cancer and premalignant polyps.

In brief: No
Pet scans are used to diagnosed possible care in any organ of thug an body.
However a positive result is not necessarily specific for colon cancer. Colonoscopy is more sensitive and specific to detect colon cancer and premalignant polyps.
Dr. Sergio Casillas-Romero
Dr. Sergio Casillas-Romero
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Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology
In brief: And a PET Scan cost
Is about $6000. And since the result still requires a biopsy, usually by prep, sedation and endoscopy anyway, and all in sum costing less, you can see where learning metabolic activity without a specific diagnosis wastes resources.
No one should be "on-board" with such a waste of resources.

In brief: And a PET Scan cost
Is about $6000. And since the result still requires a biopsy, usually by prep, sedation and endoscopy anyway, and all in sum costing less, you can see where learning metabolic activity without a specific diagnosis wastes resources.
No one should be "on-board" with such a waste of resources.
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
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Dr. Liawaty Ho
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology
In brief: No
Pet scan can't replace colonoscopy to make a diagnosis of colon cancer- at least for 2 reasons.
#1-. Pet sensitivity is limited. Lesion that is < 1 cm- can be false negative.# 2-if you find something on pet- you still need to have a colonsocopy for a biopsy. Tissue biopsy is very crucial to make diagnosis. Smaller tumor can be seen and biopsy can be done, with colonoscopy. Pet is good for staging.

In brief: No
Pet scan can't replace colonoscopy to make a diagnosis of colon cancer- at least for 2 reasons.
#1-. Pet sensitivity is limited. Lesion that is < 1 cm- can be false negative.# 2-if you find something on pet- you still need to have a colonsocopy for a biopsy. Tissue biopsy is very crucial to make diagnosis. Smaller tumor can be seen and biopsy can be done, with colonoscopy. Pet is good for staging.
Dr. Liawaty Ho
Dr. Liawaty Ho
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Dr. Paul Zhang
Internal Medicine - Oncology
In brief: ?PET screening
This is a very important question, we saw a lot of cancers uncovered by pet scan for other rereasons, this tell us that pet can detect colon cancer in the colon.
However, the question is how good pet in terms of find cancer compared with the gold standard colonscopy. So we need more research to do before we can recommend pet as a screening tool so people do not have to go through colonscopy for no.

In brief: ?PET screening
This is a very important question, we saw a lot of cancers uncovered by pet scan for other rereasons, this tell us that pet can detect colon cancer in the colon.
However, the question is how good pet in terms of find cancer compared with the gold standard colonscopy. So we need more research to do before we can recommend pet as a screening tool so people do not have to go through colonscopy for no.
Dr. Paul Zhang
Dr. Paul Zhang
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