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What are the chances PET scan is wrong?

Posts: 49
Joined: Oct 2017

My husband had his first PET scan this week and we didn't get the results we were hoping for.  3 lesions showed on his liver that weren't in previous ct or MRI in September.  3 showed with intense uptake SUV of 6, 4.4, and 3.6.  The oncologist wants a needle biopsy of the one that had the most uptake.  But the scan report says consistent with mets.  Also the lung nodules that we have been watching showed uptake but oncologist said we would still watch those.  Also a lymph node showed. So what are the chances the liver lesions aren't METS?  Anyone have a positive PET with intense uptake and it not be a met?  

darcher's picture
Posts: 297
Joined: Jun 2017

If anything the opposit might be indicitive of a bad scan.  The amount of glucose in your system if high would mute the affects of what's in the injection.  From my very limited understanding it can take 2 to 3 months for something to show up from one test to another depending on growth rate and the fact that any of these tests are limited to a certain number of cells needing to be present in order to be seen.

Joan M's picture
Joan M
Posts: 411
Joined: Oct 2016

CT scan may be more accurate than PET scan.  I've only had one PET scan because my doctors believe the CT is much more effective for comparing tumor growth over time. 

They only scan my chest and abdomen to watch the tumors that were identified origininally.  I would like to get another PET scan done though to be sure cancer hasn't spread to my thighs or head.  

Not sure if any of that helps you, but maybe you can ask your doctor about it. 


Posts: 49
Joined: Oct 2017

Thanks for the replies so far.  My husband told me today that he has read bad things about the needle biopsy and I don't know if he even wants the biopsy.  Sounds painful!  And why all the steps?  I guess my frustration is if the PET scan showed 3 liver lesions, all with uptake is this standard to do a biopsy?  I guess I'm wondering what's the point of the scan?  And not to mention I'm now officially scared that my husband's stage 3b cancer will now be stage 4!

beaumontdave's picture
Posts: 1109
Joined: Aug 2013

My needle biopsies weren't memorably bad, less of a jab than lung effusions were. My first PET after the colectomy had three lymph nodes lighting up in both armpits and my neck, and they came to nothing, so tell your man to have faith, and hang tough........................Dave

Ruthmomto4's picture
Posts: 683
Joined: May 2013

but they missed the lesion and it was a false negative. Basically the liver surgeon said since they  appeared after the cancer they were cancers and took them out, and yes they were cancer. The biopsy was not painful,though and didn't cause any issues. Stage is scary, but my husband has been stage 4 for 3 years, and many others have been for even longer. Good luck, my thoughts are with you.

Posts: 49
Joined: Oct 2017

I really appreciate the posts and support.  My nerves are completely gone after the news from this PET scan!  It has really hit me hard today.  It looks like even with scans and biopsies, there is room for error.  Scares me!

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