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

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What does breast cancer look like on a pet scan?

What does breast cancer look like on a pet scan?

Bright: Pet scans take advantage of the thought that most caners are more metabolically active than the normal tissues around them. This makes the cancers show up as "hot" or "bright" on pet imaging. There are other areas that are "bright" normally as well, like brain and to some extent liver. However, when using pet for breast cancer staging one is looking to see if there are unexpected bright areas. ...Read more

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Dr. Shontae Buffington
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Dr. Guido Davidzon
249 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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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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Dr. Shontae Buffington
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Lost about 50 pounds and have tenderness on right side and small lump. Doctor ordered pet scan also said it looks like cancer thank you in advance

Lost about 50 pounds and have tenderness on right side and small lump. Doctor ordered pet scan also said it looks like cancer thank you in advance

Complete the workup: Get the pet scan and any other labs and tests your health care provider thinks are necessary. Unexplained weight loss is a sign of cancer. Lumps and tenderness need to be explained too. Get all the information possible, perhaps including a biopsy, so a proper plan of action can be determined. ...Read more

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Does metabolism of the brain mean cancer somewhere in your body? Dr. Said pet scan to be done to look for cancer due to brain metabolism. Confused!

Does metabolism of the brain mean cancer somewhere in your body?  Dr. Said pet scan to be done to look for cancer due to brain metabolism. Confused!

PET scan: There are many causes of abnormalities seen on pet scan. Pet scans reveal brain metabolism. Tumors can alter brain metabolism but not all causes of abnormal brain metabolism shown on pet scan are tumors. ...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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Dr. Shontae Buffington
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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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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
3,845 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. Shontae Buffington
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