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April 22, 2021 12 min

Radiopharmaceutical scans (PETS) are a vital tool in our fight against cancer. 

These special PET scans allow us to make earlier cancer diagnoses while a cancer is still contained in the original organ.   With an earlier diagnosis, treatments can still stop the cancer before it is able to move to other parts of the body, or become metastatic.  

These special scans also are our best tools to evaluate whether our treatments are working, or if we have developed resistance to the treatments.  FDA approved treatments are limited, so we have  to take full advantage of them while they work.  Since most treatments will eventually stop working, we need to also have an immediate and accurate way to measure whether we are still benefiting from our treatments, or have developed resistance to them.

Sadly, the future of these scans is in jeopardy.  The current insurance reimbursement schedule only supports the use of these scans for three years, after which reimbursement rates might not cover the costs, making these very important scans unavailable despite having been approved by the FDA.  Currently these scans could be looking  at a 3 year life, after which adequate reimbursement might disappear (as will the availability of the scan to patients). 

Cancer ABCs is working to change the law so that reimbursement of these scans will keep them affordable and available as we need them.  Join us and help us preserve the availability of these scans.  To learn more about this issue,  and to lend your support, reach out to us at

Cancer ABCs would like to thank its podcast sponsors for their support of this podcast program.  Our sponsors include:

  • Myovant/Pfizer
  • Foundation Medicine
  • Bayer 
  • Dendreon

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