drinking the PET scan fluid

Hi again,
I got a PET scan on monday and it was NED! But, they couldn't get it into my vein so I had to drink it!
Anyone ever heard of this before???? My scan came out beautiful and my husband thinks I just looking for things to worry about but..........I just want to make sure that the scan is legit! Please let me know your thoughts.
thanks mucho!
hugs Sandy

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I posted in your "Congrats Post"....but in case you don't see it...

Mark had to drink his "stuff" for his last PET. He has great veins...
That wasn't an issue, So I asked "Why" he was drinking it as opposed to having it injected.

They told me that they have found it to be More effective than via injection.

True or Not- that is the answer I received. I do know they do not do injection any longer unless the Survivor can't drink the solution.

I was concerned too, so I am glad to hear it wasn't just him...

God Bless,

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I'm quite concerned about this also. When you get a CT contrast you drink a solution. But when you get a PET, the injection is usually an FDG radioactive glucose; how can you possibly drink that?

I'm going to call my radiologist and ask about this since I'm due for PET in a couple weeks. But personally, it sounds like they are trying to cut corners and save money to me. Drinking something may put the solution in your body, but an injection puts it in the blood stream and it only makes sense that you get a better result.

But I'm just a patient. And now a curious one. I'll be very interested to hear other responses to this.

God Bless

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To be honest, I have never fully understood the difference between the PET and CT scans. I could easily go on line and fine out but I guess I am getting lazy. Thus far, after almost two years, my oncologist has always ordered only the CT scan--and three MRIs. Except for the case of only doing the chest (I think only the chest), I always had to drink that nasty barium--now I have berry barium--still nasty but I can drink. Also, however, they always inject a black dye into me. Before they can do the Ct scan, with the dye, however, I have to have proof that the full gluco barrage of tests have been done, as well as some other blood tests.

Family members, especially my niece who had lung cancer, can't believe a PET scan has never been ordered. I guess that is a question I should ask my doctor.


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Boy - I know I had an injection with the contrast ct scan - one scan without, then the injection and then another scan. I seem to remember I had to drink something for the PET - but it was a while ago. But I clearly remember the injection for the ct.



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Hi Hollyjo,
Thanks for the reply. Ignore my email. :-)
I hope more people reply to this so it eases my mind.
thanks again.
stay strong!

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Yes, all my other PET scans were injected. They had trouble with the needle and my veins so they made me drink it. :-(

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Hi I had a PET Scan in October and it was definitely injected into my veins. I'm seeing my oncologist after my chest ct scan today(wish me luck!), so I'll ask him about it(hopefully, I'll remember to ask!) That's interesting though.


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Good luck Lisa!!!
It's all going to be good!

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When I have my PET scans I drink something that is supposed to taste like pina colada and then have the radioactive injection. I have PET's every 3 months or so and this has always been the procedure. I will ask about the drinking thing next time I go in. That's in May.

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i have a pet/chest ct tomorrow-it is always done at the same time-drink pina colada flavored stuff for the pet -remain quiet for about 1/2 hour in the dark (no talking-keep still). they also put a dye into vein for the chest ct w/contrast. i have very inaccessible veins but they never have me drink contrast. if there is something new, i'll find out tomorrow-last ct in dec.-had injection. nancy

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same here but what I drink he calls kool-aid, used to have to drink 2 full glasses but he says now, they can't get people to do it so down to one but 2 gave a better picture. Always checks my blood sugar and then gives the injection of the radioactive stuff and I have to sit for about an hour isolated from out in the front lobby and it is cold, cold, cold back there.
With a ct scan with contrast, I have to pick up 2 bottles of drink the night before and then drink another glass when I get there, I also get an injection in my arm, that is the way they do it here. Good luck. Love and prayers Mitziger

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I don't know about the cold, but I asked about the quiet because they wouldn't even let me read during that 45 min period. That is because any activity causes your muscles to attract the dye and pina colada stuff and then those liquids are what causes things to light up on the scan so activity would cause more false positives. Activity is what shows on the PET scan. It seems to me the rooms are always freezing and that in itself would cause shivering which would be activity.

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My Mom has always been asked to drink that stuff but she can't cause she gets sick so they do the scans w/o it at all. W/O that nuclear stuff the brightness of the cancer "hot spot" takes longer to show up.

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When I've had my PET scans they always put me in a darkened quiet room with a small heater and put a hot blanket over me. Actually, I love it. Really cozy except for the reason I'm there. 8-}

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Drink lots and lots of water to get rid of the contrast they use flush it out of your system......Congrads

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Congrats on the scan Sandy! yippee
I agree with Mitziger and nelss06.
When I have both CT and PET, they have me drink the cool-aid and get the radioactive shot in port, in dark room.
I'd love to know how they make the pina colada flavor! Put it over ice and transport me to the beach :0)

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i have always "drank" mine. didnt know u did it any other way. and ive always dreaded it cause it makes me very sick to do so.

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Well you guys they normally shoot the glucose into the vein and after they shoot the radioactive stuff but they made me drink both!! Very weird.
Anyway, thanks for all your support.
love you guys.

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just so what I wrote makes sense...
yes normally they shoot the glucose into the vein/port, followed with a shot of radiation, for a PET scan.
PET-CT scan: this is the color scan showing high cellular activity. I've had the color on a black screen be either yellow(high activity) thru red(low) or blue tones. No sugars or heavy activity 24-48hr before and no food 6hr prior
CT scan: this is basically an xray (black'n white) using contrast (that white milky stuff you can drink an hour before at home and finish at dr right before scan, made of crushed rock'n stuff and cleans your system out) to help show the area. You can have sugars day before but not 3hrs prior. I get this type every 6wks, scanning only my upper torso. I only get the PET when I freak and think my brain/bones might be involved.
I havent done an MRI for over 2yrs, I think because nothing has shown that my cancer is moving in the CT's. Stable and shrinking.
when I got a PET-CT scan AND a CT scan in the same visit, they didnt have me drink the contrast ) instead, they had me drink the bitter cool-aid.
Something about not wanting the milky contrast to affect the PET is what I remember.
All this said, I am no dr and I do have chemo brain which messes with my remembering :0)

what this does make me wonder is - do others always get PETs? does it increase the amount of radiation the body receives?
I do know that the CT's I am doing are the way my trial drug research wants it done and so far I am doing great.

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I wish they'd make a 'Miami' flavored liquid prep! For anyone that doesn't know, a Miami = side by side pour of frozen strawberry dacquiri and frozen pina colada, little topper of whipped cream, fresh strawberries and fresh pineapple.

Delightful! Hadn't had one in years and my BFF last week with all the 'fixins', and we've declared Tuesday's as 'Miami's at Lynn's Crib' night! Just a little bit of fun in the midst of this cancer chaos,,,,



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