Spot on Liver

dee42 Member Posts: 23
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
My 77 y/o mom was originally dx'ed w/colon ca in 03..has had 3 recurrences...stage II the first 3xs and the most recent in 06, stage III w/node involvement. She started 2 cycles of chemo for two of the recurrences, both times the onc stopped it because she wasn't tolerating it very well. He said if she were younger, he could try something else. In July, for the first time, she had her first clear colonoscopy, however, last year a spot showed up on her liver thru ct, but not on pet. Did not do biopsy because onc feels the spot is either non-malignant or a scar/bruise from chemo and/or meds. She had another ct 6 mos later and the spot had neither increased or decreaed in size, which he felt was good news. Keeping an eye on this spot, he ordered another ct last month. They were unable to get the dye in due to her very small veins and in essence, the ct couldn't be read. He wants to do it again and she rescheduled for next month.

My mom says this is the best she's felt in 4 yrs...she looks really good and has resumed most of the routine things she used to do, however, she tires very easily.

Why did the spot show up on ct and not on pet? Her labs have been very good...she always has been anemic even before cancer and last labs showed she was not anemic. If her liver wasn't funtioning properly, wouldn't it show up in her labs? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    CT shows mass. Could be anything. Personally, I have 3 'spots' on my liver that show up every CT scan....they have already been checked out, to the point of ultrasound AND during my resection...

    PET scan shows actively metabolizing 'something'. This, too, could be that it is not cancer...can be scar tissue 'under construction'. If something 'lights up' on this test, it is scrutinized. Non-cancerous or non-active cancer will not 'light up'. Most of the time, the 2 are done in tandom so that they have both views to work with...

    The fact that mom's spot hasn't changed is a very, very good thing....and a NAKED HAPPY DANCE for the clear colonoscopy!!!!

    I HATE those CT with contract...because of my subsequent breast cancer taking the use of one arm away for IV's, I, too, have had to reschedule the occasional work...sigh...I look at it as that I am soooo cured, that my body is rejecting any more 'needless' tests!!!!!

    Hugs to mom and you....please keep us posted!

    Hugs, kathi
  • Betsydoglover
    Betsydoglover Member Posts: 1,248 Member
    Hi -

    Like Kathi says, lots of have "spots". I am Stage IV. But interestingly the "spot" that showed up on my initial CT did not light up on PET. However, another area did light up and my liver biopsy during colon surgery most likely corresponded with the PET light up area.

    You can think of CT as showing an anatomical view of the structures in your body and PET as showing a more physiological view - i.e. showing the areas of high metabolic activity (cancer cells are metabolizing at a great rate.) CT can show spots that aren't cancer and PET can identify areas of metabolism that aren't cancer. With respect to the latter, however, they usually ask you about recent surgeries / procedures etc, and factor that in. For example, my initial PET indicated "an area of hypermetabolic activity in the sigmoid colon consistent with recent surgery and resultant healing".

    It is great that your Mom feels well and that her labs are good. Suggest you keep monitoring the situation with PET and CT scans, but hopefully your mom is doing fine.

    Take care,
  • hopefulone
    hopefulone Member Posts: 1,043 Member
    Hi Dee, glad your mom is feeling the best she has in the last 4 years. That is great. As Kathi & Betsy , and your mom's onc said, a liver spot can certainly be benign. Hubby had 5 show up on ct/mri. 2 not there when they did a liver resection 6 wks ago and one wasn't malignant but something that he was born with so try not to worry and I hope the next ct goes well for your mom. God Bless,