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Pet Scan ??
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Pet Scan ??

I had a recent Pet Scan. I was dx with invasive ductal
carcinoma in March 2002, HER2+++, ER& PR neg.

From the report: "Relatively increased activity in the
vertebral bodies likely due to reactivation of
marrow by chemotherapy."  My chemo ended late Dec 2002.
I don't have spine pain.

What exactly is meant by vertebral bodies?
How long will chemo have this affect on Pet Scan results?
What is the recommended followup?
There is no mention of additional testing for this finding.
Should I be concerned?

Thank you,

Susan M
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Dear Susan M:  Unfortunately, PET scans are not perfect tests.  In fact, in some situations, the experts cannot interpret whether to be concerned or not.  Essentially, PET scans are designed to use a sugar-type substance that will target areas of hypermetabolism - as many cancers have this characteristic.  Of course, there is a distinct possibility that other things may take up the "sugar" or that other things may be hypermetabolic.

Vertebral bodies are the bones of the spine.  It is difficult to guess at how long the effects of chemo could last - if this is the explanation.  Perhaps a bone scan would shed some light on the subject - although you are not having any pain.  Why was the PET scan done?  It may be meaningful to discuss all of this with the physician who ordered the scan.
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