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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:34 AM   #1
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My PET Scan Results...can anyone advise?

I just got my report and of course my doctor is out until Monday so I have to freak all weekend. Please let me know if you've see the verbaige below and what it means.

Mild to moderate uptake in left ovarian mass. Also mild uptake above background in left para aortic lymph node.

I think this means I likely have cancer in the ovary and lymph node but not sure.

Thanks! Susanne
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:32 PM   #2
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Re: My PET Scan Results...can anyone advise?

Okay, first let me preface this response by saying that I am not a doctor or nurse, and what I am saying comes only from my experience having had a PET and how the test was explained to me, both by my doctors and by a dear friend of mind who is a radiologist and had discussed my situation with the oncologists she works with.

Cancer cells like glucose. A PET scan measures glucose uptake. "Normal" uptake is seen and expected, with "normal" levels varying throughout the body, i.e. the brain, lungs and various other organs -- including the ovaries -- will "light up" with glucose activity on the scan, and that is normal. What they are looking for is activity over and above a certain level (I believe the number is 5, but I could be off on that, and it also depends on the grading/classification system used by the facility -- not really sure if there's just one standard or classification). Anyway, anything over whatever that magic number is will be noted as "increased uptake." HOWEVER, that does not necessary mean tumor and/or cancer.

My PET scan came back with an on-the-fence reading on each ovary that was explained by the presence of ovarian cysts; my result was perfectly normal. The mildly elevated/borderline glucose uptake was just due to the cysts, and it was absolutely nothing to worry about. There is a whole formula they use to determine if the elevated uptake is worrisome or not, and most of the time it's the doc -- not the person reading the scan -- that makes that call.

I don't know what to say about the uptake on the lymph node though, as I know of no explanation for an elevated reading there -- but again, that didn't come up as an issue during my scan, so it may very well be just my lack of knowledge, and there could be a perfectly reasonable and benign explanation for that finding as well, but I just don't know enough to give a better answer.

If I were you I'd call the center that did the PET and/or your doc and tell them you insist on having someone call and explain your results to you. I was absolutely beside myself when I was awaiting my results. I had my scan Thursday night, and was told Friday morning that the results were ready and someone would call me. Well, by 7:00 p.m. and no phone call, I was hysterical. Turns out the resident who was supposed to call me didn't understand the elevated reading on the ovaries and didn't want to call and either scare me with bad news, or admit they didn't know what it meant....so they left me hanging. When I called my doc's office and explained how upset and nervous I was, they called the doc on call, who promptly located my results and called me back. I was very nice, and made it clear I was scared, and thankfully it worked and I got my results. Maybe give it a try.

Please let us know how you are doing and what the doc says about your results! I hope they have a reasonable, benign explanation for the readings, and I certainly wouldn't panic yet. Remember, this is the opinion of the person reading the scan, and there could be any number of reasons for those findings.

Big (((hugs))) your way.

 
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:38 PM   #3
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Re: My PET Scan Results...can anyone advise?

zoe96 - thank you! I forgot to mention my ca-125 is elevated and major bleeding issues in both urine and vaginally for a while now - hence the PET scan.

I did call and talk to the radiologist and he was nice but said my doctor knows my whole story so only she can diagnose me.

I'll keep you posted!
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:43 PM   #4
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Re: My PET Scan Results...can anyone advise?

You are most welcome! My issues were cervical, and I don't know much about ovarian issues except what I've read on here and the few minor things that have arisen as a result of my PCOS, BUT I do understand that the CA-125 isn't always the most reliable test either, especially depending on your age and whether or not you are menopausal.

I'm glad you talked to the radiologist, but he is right, your doc is in a better person to tell you exactly what's going on. I hope you can get an answer tonight. If not, try to relax and enjoy the weekend. I know -- easier said than done, and believe me, I couldn't do it, although since everything worked out for me in the end, I wish I had just calmed down a little more. I gave myself wayyyyy more stress than was necessary.

Do keep us posted!!!

xxx

 
Old 10-23-2009, 12:47 PM   #5
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Re: My PET Scan Results...can anyone advise?

Thanks Zoe.....I'm a spazz too so this weekend will be hell for everyone around me LOL....Prozac!
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