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PET scan

Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi, all. I had a PET scan last week, and I found out yesterday that it showed abnormalities in my C4 & C5 area, left neck, upper chest, nasal area, and liver. I am going in for CT scans next week. I have 2 lymph nodes in the left side of my neck that a biopsy showed to be cancerous and am in the process of scheduling surgery to remove them, so that wasn't a surprise. It is the rest that I'm worried about. Has anyone had a PET scan that showed abnormalities that turned out to be nothing? My oncologist said this is a possibility.

Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2010

Is the PET scan where they have you take a low dose of the iodine pill and scan your whole body? I had a body scan last week and the results showed abnormality in my upper chest area. I had a CT with contrast yesterday and my Dr. called me and said the upper chest area showed nothing on the CT. So it is possible. The CT did show dense areas in my thyroid bed that my Dr. is concerned about and I am having my endo (who specializes in thyroid cancer) look at it as well as a new head/neck surgeon. Hopefully it is nothing and I will not have to have a 2nd surgery. I will say a prayer for you as you undergo more tests and surgery.


alapah's picture
Posts: 287
Joined: Oct 2009

A PET scan doesn't use radioactive iodine. PET scans are used to detect cancer of all kinds. Before being scanned, patients are injected with a glucose based contrast and have to sit inactive for about an hour or so before being scanned. I don't fully understand how it works but I believe it reveals abnormal highly active cells. Since the brain is so active, I believe it can't tell much in regard to cancer in the brain but it can reveal abnormalities elsewhere in the body. The machine is reminiscent of a CT scanner.

Jessica and JC, sorry you are both going through so much. I myself am more an atypical case of thyroid cancer and I can it is so trying to get all of these scans and then all of the waiting mixed in. I have had two or three PET scans (also a few CTs). In my case they revealed mets of thyroid cancer outside the neck. Jessica, you ask a good question though. I don't know if PETs have a record of false positives, so to speak. Apparently your doc has seen scans turn out to be nothing. I so hope that is the case for you.

Best to you both.

Posts: 98
Joined: May 2010

Just wanted to say hi. I hope you're doing well. Have you started your new treatments yet? I'm still fighting the mets to my lungs. I have one more round of chemo to do in April. I will be seeing the doctor on Wednesday to see if it seems to be moving at all. Stay strong.

Posts: 186
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi: I had a PET scan done about 2 week ago on advice of my surgeon who didnt like how some lymph nodes in my neck felt. Based on the results of the scan I underwent a second surgery a few days ago - (modified bilateral neck dissection) to remove as suspicious nodes. The scan did not show any other metastisis in the rest of my body - so although undergoing the surgery was not fun, I am relieved to know there is no other detectable spots in the rest of my body.

I'll undergo another RAI treatmen in a few weeks just to make sure everything is gone.

Good luck with your results - I'm sporting a lovely new scar now, but feeling amazingly good. I think part is because I can be fairly sure the cancer is virtually gone from me!

Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks for your responses. It is really great having this board.

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