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PET/CT showed physiologic hypermetabolic activity in the

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Customer: PET/CT showed physiologic hypermetabolic activity in the intracranial structures and hypermetabolic activity in the left thyroid gland measuring 4.2 in SUV but without focal lesion. I've had breast cancer twice, with chemotherapy and radiation the first time after the mastectomy (2000). I am wondering if I am correct in suspecting that I have cancer, and if so, is it thyroid cancer and/ or could there be metastasis, even distant metastasis?
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Basu replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

This is Dr Basu, experienced Internal Medicine Specialist.

I am here to address your concerns and provide great service.

Physiologic hypermetabolic activity means normal but excess uptake in these tissues.

There is no focal lesion either.

Hence, cancer recurrence is very unlikely.

But you likely have hyperthyroidism or excess throid gland activities causing these changes.

Hence you should be on anti thyroid medication after discussing with an endocrinologist.

Best wishes,

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Expert:  Dr Chaithanya replied 1 year ago.

Hi Valarie,

I'm Dr Chaithanya attending you today.

Hypermetabolic activity in the left thyroid gland sometimes can be seen in cases of metastasis, where there can be normal thyroid on examination, but when FNAC is done, cancer cells can be detected.

I do not want you take it granted, and want you to have strict follow up with your doctor about this.

The same goes with brain. Take an opinion on neurosurgeon, before you rule out cancer/metastasis.

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Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.

This is Dr. David

I am a cancer doctor.

I read PET scans all the time.

PET scans use radioactive glucose to light up areas of cancer.

but your normal body organs such as your brain, heart, kidneys, liver, all take up high levels of glucose and can normally light up bright on your PET scan. this doesn't mean cancer in the brain or cancer in the thyroid gland.

also activity on the PET scan doesn't mean your thyroid gland is overactive.

you need blood test to check your TSH and T3 and T4 levels. to know for sure your thyroid function

the FDG glucose on the PET scan can normally go into your salivary glands and get secreted into your saliva.

during the scan, the contrast can pool in your mouth and throat and light up these areas on the PET scan

these are areas of false positive uptake and doesn't mean you have cancer in these areas.

physiologic hypermetabolic activity means the body's normal physiological activities are resulting in the PET scan lighting up bright in these areas. and not cancer causing the bright areas.

let me know if you have questions.

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