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Doctor insights on: What Does Cancer Look Like On A Pet Scan

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Dr. John Yim Dr. Yim
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What does breast cancer look like on a pet scan?

Dr. John Yim Dr. Yim
1 doctor agreed:
What does breast cancer look like on a pet scan?

Frequently light up: Breast cancers frequently light up on pet scan but the purpose of the scan is usually to look for metastases, not look at the actual breast tumor. Small tumors, including in the breast or metastases, may not be seen on pet scan so while a positive scan confirmed with biopsy means there is a metastasis, a negative scan does not automatically mean that you don't have a metastasis. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
4,214 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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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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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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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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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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Could a pet scan detect ovarian cancer?

Could a pet scan detect ovarian cancer?

Possibly: If tumor metabolically active will pick up isotope f18 FDG , analog of glucose. Imaging with pet ct will detect abnormality. Most malignant tumors are active, but not all. ...Read more

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My husband had colon cancer, had a colon resection and chemo. He has had 2 pet scans since. Churining?

My husband had colon cancer, had a colon resection and chemo. He has had 2 pet scans since. Churining?

A PET scan is: The most expensive imaging test. Using it to routine follow up can be justified if it alters care. Usually there is a defined course (# of cycles) and re-staging is done regularly with ct scans. Many insurers engage "pre-approval" screening to prevent over use. There are second and third line treatments for recurrent colon cancer, but ct scans do a good job of picking this up. ...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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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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Dr. Guido Davidzon
279 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