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What does this mean?


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I praise God that this site is available.  I've had so many questions and just want to be around others who are in my situation and with whom I can consult.

I received my PET scan results this week.  My husband is still hoping that it is a fungus.  The biopsy is scheduled for Monday.  Following are the results of the chest portion of the PET scan (no glucose metabolism was found anywhere else other than in the lung lesion).  What does it mean?  My doctor is very vague.

A distinct focus of increased glucose metabolism is manifest in the upper lung-left upper lobe generating a calculated maximal standard uptake value of 8.6.  The maximal axial diameter of the mass density on review of the CT of the chest dated 03/22/22 is 29.3-mm (transverse) x 36.1-mm(AP).

Prominent radiopharmaceutical concentration is identified in the left ventricular myocardium commensurate with the fed state.

Pertinent chest CT findings are as follows:  Bilateral axillary soft tissue densities with fatty hilus are non-glucose avid.  There are no additional parenchymal densities-nodules defined in the right and left hemithorax with discernible increased FDG uptake.  Scattered mediastinal soft tissue is non-glucose active.

I feel that there is more that she could have told me other than that the test was positive and let's do the PFT and the biopsy.  What is going on in my thoracic area?

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This is a scary time; I’m glad you’ve found this group.

Until your biopsy results are in, I’m afraid your doctor will continue to sound vague.

The test shows that you have some areas that have absorbed high amounts of the glucose-based tracer they gave you for the test. The significance of high absorption is that it shows the cells are very active. Cancer cells are typically active in this way.

But one test result is not enough to say whether these active cells are cancer or not.  For example, areas where I have been treated still lit up on a recent PET scan, so I was sent for more tests. Another biopsy and bronchoscopy showed that the area is clear of cancer. The doctors suspect the active area on my scan is just inflammation that’s still settling down. 

I’m sure your doctor would love tell you with complete certainty why your cells have responded so strongly, but there’s simply not enough information yet. The biopsy will give more. 

Please know that even after the biopsy, you might still be in waiting mode as the docs do a preliminary analysis of the samples. Ask them to send tissue samples for biomarker testing for the most specific information possible— and that process involves more waiting, often a couple of weeks. 

This period of not knowing anything for sure is very very hard. One of the things we have to learn early on is how to keep our minds firmly in the present moment and not be overcome by worry about what we don’t know. Try to do some things you really enjoy this weekend. Than can help keep the fear at bay. 

Hang in there,


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Thank you, Karen.

Thank you for the clarification.

I will definitely do some things that I really enjoy such as hiking and spending time with my husband.



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Hi Marie,

Something is going on in your thoracic area. Karen is right, that you (and the doctors) won't know what it is before you get biopsy results.  This in between period is hard, we've all been there. Karen is right, too, about focusing on the present to help keep fear at bay. I wish you all the best. Keep us informed and ask us whatever questions you have.

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