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False positive PET scans

CHRIS M001's picture
Posts: 23
Joined: Jun 2012

Well i had my 2nd post chemo PET scan today. My first post chemo PET scan was not so good with an SUV=8.9. I was obviously devastated by my last PET scan. My doctors told me it was probably inflammation and to retest in 2 months. I went to my Oncologist today and he told me my CANCER IS GONE!! SUV=0! I am living proof that if you do your PET scan too soon after chemo that you run the risk of false positives, even if the uptake is higher than a 3. I have always heard that an suv # above a 3 is highly suspicious of cancer. I hope that anybody who gets a positive PET scan post chemo can still have hope that it is a false positive and just inflammation or scar tissue. God is good!

diazr1's picture
Posts: 101
Joined: Mar 2012

Awesome and yes God is good. I needed this

vinny59's picture
Posts: 1032
Joined: Nov 2006

Great news!!!!!

lboehlke's picture
Posts: 17
Joined: Apr 2012


So glad the Big C is gone, I'll pray for you that it never ever comes back.


miss maggie
Posts: 929
Joined: Mar 2010

Cancer is gone. This news is so wonderful. It can't get better than that. Also,
thanks for the info on getting a scan so soon after chemo.

Yes, God is Good. Maggie

po18guy's picture
Posts: 720
Joined: Nov 2011

First of all, praise God in heaven! As to the PET, clearly, it showed "something", but it was just not cancer - the increased uptake apparently being associated with inflammation or some other natural metabolic process. All scans, whether CT or PET, are simply images (however detailed) which are examined by a radiologist. But, they are only images, and not biopsies. The problem is that no actual living tissue was physically examined. Since you were already diagnosed with cancer, the radiologist suspected that what they saw might have been cancer. Problem is, they can't tell for sure from the image. And, radiologists tend to be a little on the alarmist side. They must point out every actual, and even even suspected abnormalities in the scan. Some abnormality that you might have been born with sets their alarm off, simply because they have never seen it before and other people don't have it. Even when my first post-chemo PET came back positive, doctor still had an excisional biopsy done, so that what appeared to be cancer in the PET image could be physically examined and either proved or disproved. Clearly, the problem in your case was that the PET was done too soon.

In their defense, I would say that, if your cancer was an aggressive variety, their concern was warranted. Sometimes, this just has to happen. In my case, it actually was the aggressive cancer which had immediately relapsed, and that is where divine providence entered in. But, that's another story.

No Evidence of Disease is every reason to get on those knees and give heartfelt thanks. God is good, indeed!

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2013

Do you know what is a safe enough distance between your last treatment and a scan? I had my last treatment on the 13th of June and had a pet scan on the 19th of August and it came back with some highlighted areas and they want to start chemo again, very scare, both of the treatment and the fact that I may not need it. I was coming down with a cold and slight ear ache when I had the scan.

Posts: 210
Joined: Jul 2013

I'm interested in this information as well.  I had my second round of chemo last week (week of August 19th) and the doctors have scheduled a 'check up' PET and CT scan for next week (week of September 2nd).  I'm now wondering if this is too soon (but then again...I ain't a doctor...lol).

MChantal's picture
Posts: 107
Joined: Apr 2013

I was told that from your last day of treatment especially, after the neulasta shot to when you can have a PET scan is 12-15 days.

From my understanding, if a PET scan is done too early after a neulasta shot; the glucose that is injected for the PET scan is attracted to stimulating bone marrow production from the shot. Just like cancer cells. Thus, gives the false-negative results.

Posts: 210
Joined: Jul 2013

Thanks for responding.  I just counted and that would put my next PET scan right on day 12 from the....as I call it...lunasty shot!

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