Mark’s PET Imaging Story

In March 2011, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer with a Gleason score of 7 (out of 10). As it is for anyone who is told they have cancer, I was shocked, but I accepted it and discussed the options with my doctor’s recommendations.

Because of the severity of my cancer, my physician recommended me for radical prostatectomy, and I underwent surgery in May that year.  

All was well for a while, but in 2021 during a routine exam, my Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) levels indicated a strong likelihood that the prostate cancer had returned. My doctors recommended a PET/CT scan to get a clearer idea of what was going on.  

My scan showed hot spots around my prostate bed and unexpectedly in my colon. My doctors recommended a colonoscopy which confirmed that I also had colorectal cancer. This presented a challenge for my medical team as they had to treat two separate cancers at the same time. However, the good news is my doctors were able to quickly start me on treatment, thanks to the information from this PET/CT scan. 

Today, the tumor in my colon is gone, and my prostate cancer is in remission.  

My doctor’s fast-acting diagnosis is why I can tell my story today- and that happened when it did, thanks to my PET/CT scan. However, access to many of the innovative diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals needed for these scans is severely limited for Medicare beneficiaries due to flawed payment policy. Unless this issue is addressed, scans that can diagnose and monitor conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, advanced cardiac disorders, and prostate, breast, and brain cancers will be severely limited.

Join me and countless other advocates in asking Congress to pass the Facilitating Innovative Nuclear Diagnostics (FIND) Act and give clinicians all the tools necessary to diagnose cancers like mine.

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