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the vocal cords are best looked at with a direct nasolaryngoscopy scope procedure by an ENT doctor.
PET scans can light up false positive in the vocal cords and throat because the FDG contrast can collect in the saliva and pool in the throat and cause false SUV of 2.5 levels.
has he seen an ENT doctor for a direct scope down his throat to look at his vocal cords directly? this will be able to tell if there is a mass or not.