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The Cancer in Pregnancy Forum

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This Forum has been the centre of an exceptional exchange of knowledge diagnosis, treatment, symptoms and other effects of cancer during pregnancy and lactation. All are welcome to review the Questions and Answers posted here, provided that they acknowledge and accept the important proviso and disclaimer below.
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Forum > Cancer - Active Topics: Cancer - Active Topics
PET Scan in pregnancy

Date: 2009-04-23

hi, i just found out i am pregnant my doctor seems to think i am about 6 weeks along, the problem is my last period was the 5th of january which was a day befor my last treatment of ABVD of hogkinsons lymphoma. now i got given the all clear half way through my teatment but still had to have a pet scan. i did a pregnancy test the day of my scan and it came out negative i did 2 more and they all said the same thing. so i went ahead and had the scan, but the thing is i found out 5 days after my scan that i was pregnant. what are the effects of the pet scan on my unborn baby and can i cause things like down syndrome or mutations in a child/?? please help i am soooo worried about this.


The following information should not replace the assessment and advice you have been receiving from your physician (cancer specialist, obstetrician, or any other healthcare provider). It is offered for your information only. Consult your physician.

The maximum amount of radiation that is considered permissible for fetal exposure is 50 Milli Gray units. The fetal radiation dose following a single PET-scan is unlikely to be higher than this level. The location of the PET-scan as well as the frequency will influence the amount of fetal dose of radiation exposure, and it is important for the technician to calculate the amount of maternal and fetal dose prior to the procedure. For similar cases and concerns please refer to the following paper on radiation and pregnancy:

Doctor, will that x-ray harm my unborn child?
Savithiri Ratnapalan MD, Yedidia Bentur MD, Gideon Koren MD
CMAJ - DECEMBER 2, 2008 - 179(12); 1293-96

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