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Doctor insights on: Pet Scan Accuracy Cancer Detection

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Is a pet scan used for colon cancer detection instead of a colonoscopy?

Is a pet scan used for colon cancer detection instead of a colonoscopy?

No: Pet scans are used for staging cancer (assess if it has spread to other tissues), not for screening. ...Read more

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Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
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24 years in practice
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Dr. Guido Davidzon
254 doctors shared insights

Pet Scan (Definition)

Pet scans most often use a radioactive form of glucose, the energy source for most of the cells in our bodies. The pet scanner can detect and measure how much of the radioactive glucose analog, f-18 fdg, is in a particular organ or region. The areas using more glucose are hyper metabolic and generally more worrisome. Our brains and sometimes hearts prefer glucose as food, making ...Read more


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On a pet scan, are the dark areas cancer?

On a pet scan, are the dark areas cancer?

Yes and no: Areas with cancer are usually hypermetabolic in a pet scan due to the increased uptake of the radioactive glucose by cancerous cells. Looking at an FDG pet scan alone, you can grossly see "dark" areas in the brain, heart, kidneys and bladder and these are due to physiologic distribution/excretion of fdg. Not all "dark" is cancer and cancer is often but not always "dark". ...Read more

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Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
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24 years in practice
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Should a pet scan show any cancer?

Should a pet scan show any cancer?

Glucose: Pet scan relies on the theory that tumors utilize a significant amount of glucose. Many different types of cancer can show up on pet scan but certain types of cancer are much more FDG avid. Low grade tumors usually have much less uptake than high grade tumors. In addition, mucinous neoplasms often do not have much FDG uptake. Small size tumors or micrometastases also may not show up on pet. ...Read more

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Should pet scans continue to be part of cancer surveillance?

Should pet scans continue to be part of cancer surveillance?

Yes: Not every cancer should be followed with pet/ct. But when the cancer is visible by this technology, it is often helpful in treatment planning and follow up. Here is link: http://www.Petscaninfo.Com/zportal/portals/pat/cancer. ...Read more

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Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
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24 years in practice
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What does a pet scan with cancer look like?

What does a pet scan with cancer look like?

Hypermetobolic: A pet scan will show increased metabolic activity or a area of locality that is different from surrounding tissue indicating area concerning for cancer. ...Read more

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If a pet scan indicates cancer but biopsy is normal, could I still have cancer?

If a pet scan indicates cancer but biopsy is normal, could I still have cancer?

PET is not 100%: The distribution and intensity of hyper-metabolic activity appearance on a pet/ct scan could be abnormal and may represent malignancy but is not pathognomonic and may also represent inflammation, infection or granulomatous disease. If biopsy is correctly done, results of direct tissue are usually more certain. However, short interval follow-up with pet/ct is often recommended. ...Read more

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Not long ago I had a pet scan done, one lympnode lit up, it was light. I want to know if that still means cancer.?

Not long ago I had a pet scan done, one lympnode lit up, it was light. I want to know if that still means cancer.?

Possibly: The purpose of a PET scan is to evaluate the extent of a cancerous process and see if before treatment there are several sites to be concerned about. After treatment to see if there is residual disease that may not have responded properly. If a node lights up it may suggest that there is still remaining disease. ...Read more

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Why do some cancers have a high uptake on pet scan and some low ?

Why do some cancers have a high uptake on pet scan and some low ?

Uptake on PET: The uptake of 18F-FDG by tissues is a marker for the tissue uptake of glucose, which in turn is closely correlated with certain types of tissue metabolism. Tumors in general are more metabolically active than normal tissues and this difference in uptake is what makes PET scans possible. Tumors that have a higher metabolic rate will have more FDG uptake. Tumors that are less active havel less . ...Read more

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Is it better that the SUV Max on a pet scan is lower than higher? Does this mean the cancer Is less aggressive and less active What is the highest it can be !

Is it better that the SUV Max on a pet scan is lower than higher? Does this mean the cancer Is less aggressive and less active
What is the highest it can be !

PET & SUV: most PET scans have a range of SUV that goes from 0 to 4, which is felt to be less likely malignant. The SUV above 4 is more suspicious of cancer. PET scans pick up spots where the tissues are using more energy...like infections, surgery sites, and cancers. There really is no upper limit. If your SUV is declining this usually means the cancer is responding or dying off. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
3,963 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

An uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion and metastases is what cancer is defined as. It produced abnormal growth of cells which acquire destructive properties causing serious threat to host's life, unless it can be removed or destroyed by ...Read more


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Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
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