*New* Question about hot spots on PET

I had my first PET scan after surgery and radiation for SCC of the tongue.  The primary site and side looked good, however I had some hot spots pop up on the opposite side in my tonsil, a jaw muscle and a lymph node beside the jaw muscle.  My radiation doctor said not to worry Because it was on the opposite side, and I'd been a little sick the day before the scan with the stomach virus and a cold.  I'be requested to see my ENT anyway, because it's hard not to worry!  Anyone have False Positives with PET scan?  I've heard they are common...?  Any feedback would be appreciated.  Thank you!  

Comments

  • MrsBD
    MrsBD Member Posts: 615 Member
    Hot spots can also be caused

    Hot spots can also be caused by radiation damage. When I went for a PET scan 3 months after treatment, there was a hot spot on the opposite side. The report said that it was most likely due to radiation, but it should be checked by the ENT. He agreed, and at my six month check, it was gone. By the way, welcome to the CSN family!

     

     

  • Noellesmom
    Noellesmom Member Posts: 1,859 Member
    when

    Did you finish treatment?  That can make a difference.

  • yensid683
    yensid683 Member Posts: 349
    Hot spots and false positives can happen

    I completed treatment in early July of 2012 and had a PET scan in October of that year that showed just one minor hot spot.  The tumor board met and decided that because of the advanced disease factor (stange IVa) that a selective neck dissection was in order.  I had a number of nodes removed and the one showed what was called 'weak, inactive remnant disease'. 

    Fast forward to March of 2013 and the next PET scan that I was confident would be clear.  I was very unpleasantly surprised to find that they found several more hot spots and was referred to a new ENT, a specialist in head and neck cancer issues.  I had a second selective neck dissection and was pleasantly suprised to find that all of the nodes and fibrous scar tissue removed tested negative!

    It may be possible that what the scan revealed is simply scar tissue from the rads.  Wishing you luck and saying prayers for you

     

    Peter

  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
    HotSpots

    As mentioned, they can be caused by residual from the radiation, or like your MD mentioned as well.. They aren't necessarily from cancer, they are just areas of high cellular activity..

    It can be from a number of things...

    How long since you last had rads.. Hot spots can show for a while after rads.. Usually 6 - 8 weeks post rads is the first PET's that inherently have a better chance of not lighting up.. But there isn't any for sure time frame as most anything related...

    I'm sure your ENT will give you a good go over..

    Best,

    John

     

  • AndrewP16nose
    AndrewP16nose Member Posts: 23 Member
    My 3 month post treatment PET hot too but ok

    I had several hot areas in my post treatment PET. I had this done last week. However like your hot spots they weren't at the site of the initial tumor and reported as due to inflammation- I guess due to radiotherapy. My oncologist and radiologist both seemed relaxed. I think you're ok too.

  • GerberDaisy
    GerberDaisy Member Posts: 3
    Hi all!  Thank you so much

    Hi all!  Thank you so much for all of the replies!  I finished radiation on Feb 5th.  In Nov I had a partial glossectomy and partial neck dissection - of the 34 lymph nodes removed, 2 were cancerous.  My pathology report also noted that I had partial nerve invasion, which put me in the stage 3 category.  I had 30 rounds of radiation to my mouth and neck - just on the right side.  My hot spots popped up on the Left side.My kids and I have had a cold and stomach virus the days prior to my scan so that's what the radiation dr said he thought the inflammation could have been caused by.  I scheduled a visit with my ENT just to be on the safe side.  

    I have a couple more questions for you guys if you don't mind.  Anyone have referred ear pain after radiation treatments have ended? I have to have my flap trimmed up because it's a bit bulky, causes some discomfort.

     Also, the very first and worst sore that popped up in my throat During radiation still gives me trouble if I eat hard foods like nuts, or drink carbonated beverages.  Have you changed your diet post radiation?  I crave sweets, which I *try* not to eat because of the whole cancer-sugar/glucose connection.  It seems like everything I love I can't eat or drink anymore - which is a small price to pay for LIFE!  Just a small complaint, I miss redbull, sodas, alcohol, chips, candy, icecream!  I lived off ice cream and milkshakes during radiation Bc I didn't have a feeding tube and that was the ONLY thing I could eat... But now I feel guilty eating it because of the sugar.               

  • MrsBD
    MrsBD Member Posts: 615 Member

    Hi all!  Thank you so much

    Hi all!  Thank you so much for all of the replies!  I finished radiation on Feb 5th.  In Nov I had a partial glossectomy and partial neck dissection - of the 34 lymph nodes removed, 2 were cancerous.  My pathology report also noted that I had partial nerve invasion, which put me in the stage 3 category.  I had 30 rounds of radiation to my mouth and neck - just on the right side.  My hot spots popped up on the Left side.My kids and I have had a cold and stomach virus the days prior to my scan so that's what the radiation dr said he thought the inflammation could have been caused by.  I scheduled a visit with my ENT just to be on the safe side.  

    I have a couple more questions for you guys if you don't mind.  Anyone have referred ear pain after radiation treatments have ended? I have to have my flap trimmed up because it's a bit bulky, causes some discomfort.

     Also, the very first and worst sore that popped up in my throat During radiation still gives me trouble if I eat hard foods like nuts, or drink carbonated beverages.  Have you changed your diet post radiation?  I crave sweets, which I *try* not to eat because of the whole cancer-sugar/glucose connection.  It seems like everything I love I can't eat or drink anymore - which is a small price to pay for LIFE!  Just a small complaint, I miss redbull, sodas, alcohol, chips, candy, icecream!  I lived off ice cream and milkshakes during radiation Bc I didn't have a feeding tube and that was the ONLY thing I could eat... But now I feel guilty eating it because of the sugar.               

    Questions

    And answers.

    Yes, I had occasional ear pain for several weeks after radiation ended. The mouth sores and sore throat finally disappeared after three months, but my mouth and throat are still sensitive. I'm almost seven months out of treatment. My food tastes are completely opposite of yours! During treatment, I could only tolerate warm or room temperature food. Today, I still prefer savory warm food and have lost my sweet tooth. Cold food and ice water make my throat ache. Everyone is different. You very recently finished your therapy, so eat what you can and try to make healthy choices. Make a fruit smoothie instead of having ice cream. Try iced tea instead of energy drinks and sodas. Maybe the dietician at your cancer center could give you more ideas. Congratulations on finishing your treatment!

  • debbiejeanne
    debbiejeanne Member Posts: 3,102 Member
    gerber, i'm praying it is

    gerber, i'm praying it is just left over radiation and nothing more.

    God bless you,

    dj