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Pet Scan SUV(Standard Uptake Value)

mxperry220
Posts: 357
Joined: Mar 2011

Does anyone have information on their SUV reading from their Pet Scan? Mine has been running 3.3-3.9. I am 27 months our post treatment.

duckyann
Posts: 162
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi,

My last Pet Scan SUV was 2.5, that was in October and I was 16 months post treatment. This was higher than my first post treatment scan. They said it was due to scar tissue. I had a biosy to confirm this.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2848
Joined: Jan 2010

My last PET scan was done on February 2nd. and I was 29 months post treatment at that time. The SUV was 3.56 at my anal verge and was thought to be "physiologic," which basically means inflammation. My oncologist was not all that concerned about it and neither was my colorectal doc, who examined me a couple weeks later and found nothing of concern. The PET I had prior to this one was in July 2010 and it's noted that the two scans are comparable as regards SUV. My rad onc told me after my very first post-treatment scan that I would probably never have one that showed no activity at all, due to radiation damage/inflammation.

If you get copies of your PET scan reports, you can read the interpretation. If it includes "physiologic" or "inflammation" in the comments, then it's probably nothing to be concerned about. Are you still getting regular exams from your colorectal doc? I go every 3 months.

mxperry220
Posts: 357
Joined: Mar 2011

My colon rectal surgeon has me on a six month schedule. I feel so much better hearing from everyone. My insurance company just denied the preauthorization from my radiologist for my pet scan saying it was not necessary based on the report write ups. I think I may be overly concerned that there could be a recurrence of this awful cancer. I am going to still have it done this time and pay out of pocket. My stress level just went up when I heard this knowing I have insurance and still have to pay for this test. This is the first time since 2008 there has ever been a problem. I have been having pet scans every three months since 2008. Hearing everyone comment makes me think this reading may be normal post treatment. My appointment with my colon rectal surgeon is May 3. I plan to discuss this issue with him and see if he has any concerns by not having future pet scans. Perhaps he may want to take a biopsy. This was the most painful part of my treatment because he removed 1/3 of my tumor for biopsy before radiation and chemo. Hopefully if he decides to do a biopsy it will not be as painful this time.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond to my question.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2848
Joined: Jan 2010

I have been having PET scans every 3-4 months until my last one in February, which was when my oncologist let me go to a 6-month schedule. So far my ins. co. has allowed them, but when the next one is due in August, I suspect they'll deny approval. In that case, I will be asking for a CT scan. My suggestion is that you ask your doctor about having a CT or MRI scan instead, which would be more likely to be covered by ins. It may be true that PET scans can pick up more, but sometimes that can turn out to be inflammation, as we've discussed. My personal experience with these light ups on PET scans is always one of anxiety and fear, even when it's explained to me as inflammation. I know many other anal cancer survivors who are being followed up with CT scans only and others are getting MRI. Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons with all the types of scans and see if there is another option besides the PET. You may be able to save yourself a huge amount of money. If you end up paying for a PET out of pocket, it would be worth talking to the hospital and negotiating a lower charge, as they would not be paid in full by your ins. co. anyway. I wish you all the best with this!

mxperry220
Posts: 357
Joined: Mar 2011

I did talk to my doctor and he is allowing me to pay the contract rate they have with my insurance company which is $1,720 vs. full price of $4,000. That has been one consolation but I feel is still unfair since I have insurance to cover these kinds of costs. Thanks for your feedback.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2848
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm glad you have worked this out ahead of time with your doctor. Even at $4,000, that's a bargain compared to what my hospital charges for a PET scan--over $7,000! Of course they do not get paid that much, but it seems quite high to me. That is why I would not be able to afford to pay for a PET scan. Good luck with your scan.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1251
Joined: May 2009

Hello, I had a 2nd follow up pet-ct after tx and the suv uptake was 4.3. This was about 9 months after the initial tx. I had previously had a biopsy the month before. Now my oncologist said that the inflammation can cause the high suv uptake. Even DREs can cause inflammation. I completed tx on 6-30-09 so I am 22 months from end of treatment. I show no signs of anal cancer and the high suv was 13 months ago. So yours is probably inflammation also. Normal would be 2.5 and less. Have you been having regular exams? I wish you well. Lori

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