pet scans are they accurate?showed no cancer in lymph nodes? good sign?

Hello!! Doctor seems confident that cancer is only one 4 cm mass in right lung but had to test lymph nodes to be certain.Anyone out there have a pet scan that showed lymph nodes to be clear but then the biopsy came back positive?Im waiting for my results and I am nervous!!! please help

Report post

12 replies. Join the discussion

My mom had just the opposite happen...one lymph node was very enlarged and lit up on the PET scan, but was negative on biopsy and all nodes were negative upon surgical removal. You have every right to be nervous, but its better that your doctor gets a full picture of what's going on before he jumps right into treatment....so you can make sure you're getting the RIGHT treatment.

Although I am not the cancer patient, I am a single mother of a 5 year old and am going through this with my mom. Feel free to add me as a friend if you want somebody to talk to. I can definitely relate to trying to balance kids and treatments (and emotions!). I hope your test results come back with good news!!!

Hugs, Linda

Report post

Of course you're nervous! We're all nervous waiting for test results, every time. Good luck. And yes, sometimes the cells are too microscopic to show up on a scan. We treat this nasty disease as it shows up here and there -- and always with hope.
Gretchen

Report post

False positives are far more frequent than false negatives. The trouble has been that things "light up" when there is no cancer. They use warm blankets now when people are given a PET to lower the number of false positives (there is a difference between how muscle and fat are seen and the warm blankets help).

Of course, lymph nodes can surprise surgeons - but there is much less worry about this in the literature.

Courage

Chum

Report post

My husband's PET Scan showed cancer only in the tumor. He had 1 enlarged lymph node, but after surgery and biopsy, that node was clear as well.

We were told that the micro size cells will not show up on any scan, whether it be CAT or PET. Scans will only detect cancer cells over a certain size, which is why removal and biopsy is the only certainty.

Good luck with everything. I'm sure you'll be fine.

Report post

thank you for responding!! my lymph nodes werent swollen or anything so im certain thats a good sign.I had the surgery thursday when do u think i will get the results?How is your husband feeling? god bless,kandy

Report post

I'm sure you could call and get your results. We didn't get ours until we returned to the surgeon's office after my husband's mediastinoscopy was performed the previous week. The waiting was always the worse.

Yes, if nothing shows on the PET, it is a good sign. But, the ultimate answer comes from actual biopsy results.

My husband is doing amazingly well. He is working, although he just filed for semi-retirement, plays 18-holes of golf, and looks great. Humidity works against him at times, and we anticipate real cold weather to also until his body adapts. After all, he is missing 60% of his right lung. Otherwise, I thank God every day for the gift he has given us.

Any other questions, feel free to ask. Appears you are walking to same road we did.

Report post

My lymph nodes did not light up on the pet scan and they found no cancer in them during surgery either. You sound like you are lucky to have caught it very early. You will have a very good prognosis. Sharon

Report post

Mine too were clear on the PET, and all were clear in surgery too. Sounds like things will turn out great for you.

Positive thoughts girlie :)
Sandi

Report post

Honestly are you all angels sent from heaven or something?The day I found out about having lung cancer I found this forum and I can honestly say it changed my life and completely altered my perception of the human race.I have found so many wonderful ,beautiful, amazing people whom I can call my true friends .I just want to say thank you for everything you have all done for me.You truly are a gift from God each and every one of you.God bless you all!!!! sincerely,Kandy

Report post

i just joined the group and read your story. you are a strong lady and an inspiration.

Report post

Kandy - don't cont chickens - wait till all the test results are in - so far so good! I am praying for you!!!!!
Karen

Report post

My pet scans have never been accurate. False positives on all of them so far.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Photo of Dave Grant

The Lung Cancer Survivors Support Community has provided support for patients, caregivers, families and friends since 2006. We welcome over 600 new members every month in the fight against lung cancer.

ALK mutations and lung cancer

Join the discussion about ALK mutations and lung cancer

Things you can do

Discussion topics

Community leaders