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Hot spots showing, what ?

Posts: 710
Joined: Mar 2010

When the dr. says hot spots are showing on your PET Scan, what does it mean? That's what dr. told my mom. He said it wasn't cancer, but they need to keep a watch on it. She can't have a MRI, she has a pacemaker. Does hot spots mean it could develope into cancer?

jessiesmom1's picture
Posts: 872
Joined: Jun 2010

A PET scan shows areas of increased metabolic activity. For instance, a healing surgical site or a healing broken bone will show increased activity and "light up" on a PET scan. It seems to me that if an area lights up on the scan it bears watching at the very least. What specifically makes the radiologist say the spot is not cancer? Size? Shape? Density? You might want to inquire if a biopsy of the area is in order to determine the nature of the problem.


grams2jc's picture
Posts: 756
Joined: May 2011

My M.O. won't order a Pet Scan for me beause she says my arthritis will show as hot spots.

Maybe it is something like that?


Cindy Bear
Posts: 570
Joined: Jul 2009

Can she get a copy of Pet scan results from Dr. office? If not, I'd request it from Medical records dept. If it's not cancer, what does he think it is and why would they need to watch it? It could be inflammation or infection ...My mom had pet scan (uterine cancer) and I did learn this little tidbit. There is a measurement called SUV = standard uptake volume on a pet scan. The oncologist equated it to a geiger counter reading. A Pet measures uptake of radioactive glucose, the theory being cancer is more metabolically active and will uptake more of this solution Then the uptake is measured, like a geiger counter reading. We were told anything over 2.7 is deemed cancer.
Maybe if you get the results and read them yourself it will shed some light on things.
Good luck!

mamolady's picture
Posts: 796
Joined: May 2011

There are lots of reasons for hot spots on PET scans. It could be any thing from normal physiological function to arthritis to CA. The report may not make any sense to the average person, it would be better to talk to the doctor. Have him explain why to watch and what he thinks it may be.


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