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PET scan results
My husband's doctor told us this morning that the results of his PET scan showed 1- "activity" at a left mass in his upper left lobe (which measures 2.4 x 2.7 cm), 2-  "activity" at a lump on the right side of his neck (though his CT scan on this lump showed "unremarkable" with no abnormal soft tissue thcikening or stranding), and 3- "activity" in the adrenal area.

Could someone tell me if a PET scan can report if this "activity" is malignant/cancer -- or is the doctor using the term "activity" because a biopsy must be done first to definitively indicate if it's truly cancer?

My husband is having a biopsy of the neck lump tomorrow.

Thanks.
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Hi.  "Activity" in a PET scan means an area with an increased uptake of fluorodeoxyglucose or FDG (a variant of glucose), which is the tracer substance used in PET.  Tissues which are rapidly dividing, such as cancer cells, have increased metabolic rates, and subsequently an increased uptake of glucose which provides the fuel for metabolism.  Therefore, cancer cells usually show increased activity in a PET scan because of increased glucose uptake.   However, some normal body tissues, like the bone marrow or the intestinal mucosal lining, are also actively dividing or have high metabolic rates and may also show activity in PET.  So "activity" does not necessarily indicate cancer, but is merely suggestive of it.  That is why a biopsy needs to be done because that's the only way to confirm a suspicious lesion seen in PET.
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Thank you, Dr. Rogue.  That is helpful.
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I have had a positive X-ray, CAT, and PET scan for a spot on my right upper lobe. I have had a biopsy but because it just a above the opening where the broncial tube comes in to the lung and very difficult to get to, the surgeon could not Garentee that he even got the biopsy of the right thing but had to call it because he was in the twice as long as he should hav been. THe results of the biopsy came back negitive. I am very worried that this could be cancer and I have a major decision to make. was woundering what you would do in this situation.
I really don't want to wait six months to do the test over again and posibly be beyond held, My family is worried that I am jumping the gun on letting the take the lobe out. WHat would you do?
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