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Trying to be strong...

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I've updated Mom's information in my profile below to show where we are today. Mom gave me a copy of the report from the PET scan yesterday. I'm a little concerned with the size & amount of the masses or nodules. And I have a question for anyone who can answer this...

What does SUV mean?

Every area mentioned says "with an SUV of 11.7" or some other number. I don't know what the UV means.

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Very sorry to hear about your Mom's diagnosis.

SUV=Standardized Uptake Value

It is a numerical value indicating the intensity of FDG (injected solution) uptake within a region of interest incorporating the neoplasm.

The SUV relates the activity concentration in a certain volume of tissue to the amount of the injected dose and the patient's body weight. In general, malignant lesions have an SUV in the range of 2.5 to 15.

My husband has been in those SUV ranges too. Good news is that the chemo will help reduce those numbers by shrinking the tumors. Hope this info helps and good luck with your Mom's treatments.



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"SUV" stands for 'standardized uptake value'. It is used as a measurement of metabolic activity of a tumor when imaged in a PET scan. Malignant tumors generally have a higher rate of metabolic activity than non-malignant masses, and the PET scan SUV is helpful in distinguishing one from the other. If I remember correctly, the tracer dye injected prior to a PET scan contains glucose, and a malignancy will 'take it in' more actively than normal tissue will. I believe that a higher SUV indicates a more metabolically active (and thus possibly more proliferative or active tumor.)

There are a few exceptions to this - for example, inflammatory processes like arthritis can sometimes show increased SUV.

Hope this helps. If anyone can chime in with a better explanation of SUV, please do - I am going off of my own understanding and memory here.


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Thank you -- both of your explanations helped me a great deal. I do understand it now. And after reading both your profiles....I'm starting to feel hopeful again. People say to "be positive"....but when I look over at my mom, who just had her whole life changed with this diagnosis and these symptoms....I get so scared. I don't want to lose her...not now, not in 3 years....not in 10 years....not in 20 years. This is NOT how it was supposed to be. DAMN IT. And then I pull myself together, I stop crying for a minute and think about how we're about to start the fight....chemo on Thursday....and then I think about how scared she is...she's scared to go through all this. I have no idea what's going through her mind. I know that she's going to be strong for me, for the family....for her 94-yr-old dad. She's not going to want to make us uncomfortable. So, she'll be strong. And she'll put on a brave face for herself. Because she knows she's supposed to be positive, think positive. My husband and I took her to the movies tonight. We laughed, told jokes, people watched, etc. And then she starts coughing and we all remember what's going on in her body. If I'm alone for 10 seconds, I lose it. I can walk from the car into the house to get her and that 5 seconds of alone time is the worst for me. I just start crying in those seconds....I'm so vulnerable. And then I see her smile, and we find our groove again. When I see her face I pull myself together. Her spirits are great. She's happy...bubbly, talkative, funny. The scariest part is not knowing if what she shows on the outside is what she's truly feeling on the inside. I know almost everyone can relate to my ramblings....thanks for reading.

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Yeah Tova, I know EXACTLY what you mean. Being alone is the worst. But now that I stay here with Mom, I'm never really alone--except at work. They've gotten kinda used to me crying there for no apparent reason (that they can see). I work at the hospital too, so you never know what's going to set me off. Something could remind me of my Dad or what Mom's going through.

I'd like to tell you to hang in there, it gets better but I'm not so sure about it gettting better for us. I pray each day that it gets better for HER.

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Hi Tova,

I won't tell you to "stay strong", because it's something I can't always do myself..

Sometimes you have to take 5 minutes at a time--(like when you're waiting in the oncologists office for him to come in with the newest scan results, etc....) It's like being tortured, slowly....

I'm sorry for your Mom. There are LOT'S of people here that have conquered this monster though, so hang on to that fact.

Take care of yourself. If need be, go to your doctor and explain what's happening with your Mom.. . They might be able to help you with a mild anti-anxiety medication.

Your Mom is blessed to have such a caring daughter.


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