← Return to PET scan clarification: Are the indicators cancer specific?

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Hi @jemma17, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I moved your question to the Breast Cancer group (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/breast-cancer/) and the Neuroendocrine Cancer (NETs) (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/neuroendocrine-tumors-nets/).

I'm also inviting @trixie1313 into this discussion because she has both breast cancer and NETs.

Now to your question about PET scan activity uptake and readings. I believe you're asking if the activity or uptake can show differently for different cancer types. In other words, can it indicate whether it is breast cancer activity or NET activity? It cannot.

People often assume that anything with uptake is abnormal. However, this is not always true and can cause unnecessary alarm and concern. Interpreting PET scans is a highly specialized skill and requires an experienced professional who understands all the variables and intricacies. The interpreting radiologist must also take into consideration any findings on CT, MRI, or other imaging tests.

Jemma, when will you be talking to your cancer care team about the results of your PET scan? What type of NETs do you have?

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Replies to "Hi @jemma17, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I moved your question to the Breast Cancer..."

My PET scan was interpreted for my breast cancer recurrence. Everything was explained to me as part of my breast cancer. However, I have had moderately agressive islet cell tumors removed from my neck, ovaries and had a section of my small intestine removed. There is also a growth on my hip which was dx as NET. I was just wondering how they were certain that all of the new uptake was from the breast cancer and not NET. I didn't quite understand how the PET scan could or couldn't differentiate. Thank you for your response!