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in a PET report if it is saying a lymph node is hypermetabolic, I am guessing they mean it is working harder than is normal or does it mean there are likely cancerous cells hence the hyper (fast) cells there?

Right, wrong, sideways?

Ohhh and why would there be low grade uptake ( of glow in the dark sugar water) in a area of scaring... does that mean the are is becoming active again or is it because it is scared it doesnt want to go into the scar tissue?

and what is SUV?

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hypermetabolic means very active cells. Certain cells in the body are more active than others. Inflamation shows high SUV.

But cancer cells are usually hypermetabolic. The PET scan detects cells that are basically hypermetabolic, since cancer cells are hypermetabolic.

That being said PET scans do show false positives, so talk to the Dr. Interpretation of the results are the main thing.

SUV means standardized uptake value. The Pet scan gives SUVs for how much the sugar was "absorbed" for lack of a better word.

A SUV of around 4 or so I believe is when something *might* be cancerous (again the scan needs someone skilled to read it correctly)

Also PET scans are around 80% accurate. So a Drs judgement and experience is needed.

Pet scans can also show false negatives for slow growing cancers like carcinoid or BAC.

Unfortunately it is not staight forward, e.g SUV > 4 means cancer. SUV < 4 means no cancer

Take care

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SUV (standardized uptake value, I believe, but I'm not positive) is also dependent upon the size of the nodule (not sure if this applies to lymph nodes as well). For instance, an SUV of 2 might not be terribly concerning for a 3 cm nodule, but it would still be suspicious for cancer in a 1 cm nodule. Many of the false negatives from PET are small nodules. Again, not sure how this applies to lymph nodes. Supposedly, while we patients are addicted to numbers, many radiologists who specialize in PET scans are swayed much more by the pictures (what "lights up" and how it looks). And, as others have noted, in any case, PET often can't differentiate between cancer and inflammation or infection.--neilb

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This is a tangent to the thread, but it is interesting that inflamation and cancer is a newly researched topic

Some researchers are starting to see evidence that chronic inflamation might be a precursor to cancer and that the immune system may in fact facilitate metastasis

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i appreciate the info... there are a few areas that are a SUV of 3 but the other areas that they found were SUV 3.9,3.8, and 5.6 soo Im thinkin that 5.6 is pretty active.

one of the new areas is a lymph node(SUV 3) adjacent to the aortic arch so that one concerns me. so tricky being so close to the heart.

the one thing I wish my Dads dr was more specific... but he tends to follow my Dads lead an just go with the basics... I then have to track someone down at a later time to get more detailed info...**sigh**

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