I am a 4 1/2 year survivor of Stage 1a Adenocarcinoma lung cancer. In November I got a pnuemonia shot from my Dr. I got sick, sinus and upper respiratory infection. This was right before my Cat and Pet Scan. I also have a bleb since original surgery no SUV uptake until this PET. 1.3 value. Surgeon has me on a 3 month recheck which seems resonable to me. Very good Surgeon. My question is on PET they did note that it was consistant with low grade or small tumor or inflamation or infection. Does that ever happen? or is this a nice way of saying it really is cancer and will continue to grow? Once it lites up does he ever just stay at that SUV. or does it just increase. Dr said if it was infection it would be gone in 3 months, but what are the odds that is what it is? any additional information you can give will be greatly appreciated.
Reply # - February 14, 2013, 10:19 AM
Hi jconnor, congratulations on your survivorship.
You can absolutely expect to see an elevated SUV after a pneumonia and expect it to be gone at the next scan. I can only imagine that feeling or worry, my husband had that happen with a pet scan SUV uptake that had us worried for a nasty side effect.
Your doctor isn't trying to placate you he/she is telling the truth. I'll look up some links for expert commentary on this.
All the best, 4 1/2 years, you're all but there!
Reply # - February 14, 2013, 10:48 AM
thanks Janine I really appreciate all your help. I know this last few months will be tough as if the past 4 1/2 yrs haven't been. I'm so close to that 5 year mark yet it still seems so far away.
I'll be looking for those links.
Reply # - February 14, 2013, 11:21 AM
Here you go, http://cancergrace.org/cancer-101/2010/09/14/cancer-101-faq-primer-on-p…
There are similar discussion links following the post so if you want more ;) we've always got it.
I'm so happy to hear the good news. As you can imagine we get too much bad news on Grace and it's been a particularly tough few months.
Any of us regulars here can read your post and understand your angst but also know it's so overwhelmingly probably the pneumonia. The SUV is very low, which means some but little activity. Seen most often in people fighting infection. That's you.
Keep us posted, We want to help celebrate your 5 year mark, cancer free!
Reply # - February 14, 2013, 01:36 PM
PET is very nonspecific--lots of stuff can light up this is not cancer. PET looks for cells using a lot of sugar. While cancer cells do use a lot of sugar, so do any cells with inflammation or which are fighting infection. Pneumoniae lights up. Inflammatory conditions light up. If you were to punch me on the arm then put me in a PET scanner, that would light up just like a sarcoma (muscle tumor). Very often, the right path with ambiguous findings is to follow them carefully across serial imaging--things that grow are more concerning; things that don't are less concerning.
Reply # - February 14, 2013, 02:59 PM
thanks for all your help. i follow up in 3 months