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First PET scan after radiation

Posts: 147
Joined: Mar 2012

Hi All

This isn't for me, but I hoped to tap into the collective knowledge of the folks on here. A guy I have conversed with on a UK cancer forum since my diagnosis (really good guy) has had SCC of the BOT and had rads and chemo. He finished his treatments in March and has just had his first post treatment PET.

The scan suggested that the rads have worked on his original site, but there is another site nearby they are going to have to biopsy as it is showing up on the PET but they think it might be radiation scarring. He also has some nodules show up in his lung.

I seem to remember others have had similar (ultimately) false positives in their first PET post treatment? Can anyone offer any words of experience or comfort for him? I very much hope so, as it's obviously a worrying time for him.

Many thanks


Posts: 1914
Joined: May 2012

Will he be having any follow up CT'S or MRI's to confirm their findings ? I would suggest to him. Pets are wonderful for whole body imaging and showing uptake, but will give false positives. Always good to confirm with above tests and then biopsy. Regards, Katie

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8290
Joined: Sep 2009

Can show residual to the targeted area.

But I haven't heard of anyone with H&N treatment and with radiation, showing residual or scarring in the lungs.

So at minimal, like mentioned, I would suggest that the lung nodules lighting up be investigated further...


Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1506
Joined: Nov 2011

Hi Leo..don't think my expereince will help anser anything except to say I had an uptick in heat on my vocal cords my first post tx PET. I also had a scope the same day and my oncologist said it appeared to be radiation affects. My ENT also did a scope same day and said the same.

As for the lungs ...no answer in that area.

I'm sure more will chime in soon.



Posts: 147
Joined: Mar 2012

Thanks all

He is set for a biopsy Tuesday and meeting with a chest specialist in a week or two so will know more then. My thoughts were similar that the other lit area near where he had the rads could be related, but the lung nodes were a concern. Really appreciate the advice - there isn't the kind of knowledge and support on that site I coverse with him on as there is here.

All the best


Posts: 147
Joined: Mar 2012

Good news is always nice to hear, and it turned out my mate's biopsy was clear and the lung spots were a chest infection.

His treatment has worked, and he can move on :-)

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8290
Joined: Sep 2009

Great news to start my morning......


hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

When I hear great news like that it just reinforces how the unknown creates so much needless worry for each of us and our loved ones. I guess it's human nature and no way around it.

buzz99's picture
Posts: 404
Joined: Sep 2010

False positives are a possibility but the biopsy is more definitive. We were told that a negative biopsy can be a false negative! There seem to be no clear cut answers with this cancer. As for the lung nodule, Buzz has a lung nodule which has not changed in two years and is thought to be benign. Wish I could be more reassuring. Karen

ToBeGolden's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Aug 2010

A PET shows areas of unusual glucose uptake. Both cancer and inflammation increase that glucose uptake. Also brain activity takes a lot of glucose. Radiation causes inflammation, and thus can lead to a false positive PET.

We all hope for true-negative PETS. But we all must remember that there are good treatments for most conditions. I will be getting my first post-treatment PET in a month or so. so I might just be giving advice to myself. Rick.

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