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Topic: what do hot spots mean?

Forum: Stage IV and Metastatic Breast Cancer ONLY — A place for those managing the ups & downs of a Stage IV/metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. Please respect that this forum is for Stage IV members only or those posting on behalf of a Stage IV patient. There is a separate forum for Stage IV Caregivers/Family in "Support and Community Connections".

Posted on: Jan 22, 2012 05:31AM

goldie123 wrote:

 i was dx with stage 4,  9 months ago and have been on faslodex and xgeva since..  last month i had a pet scan which showed there was no change but the doctor did say she saw some hots spots. does this mean that there are areas that look like they are getting worse? my tms have been going up for the last 3 months so i assume the faslodex may have to be changed. i have an appointment this week so i'd like to br prepared

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Jan 22, 2012 06:29AM usafmom wrote:

Hot spots..when referring to a petscan means the area showed metabolic uptake. That means that area was more active which means it may be cancerous. The only way you will know for sure is from a biopsy. But since we have active cancer already they assume these areas would be where the cancer has spread. But a petscan can give false positive readings too.

I hope that makes sense to you..I've had several petscans in the last few months with lots of hotspots. So I can understand your frustration. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.


Hugs Kimber

Dx 10/31/2007, IDC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 12/40 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 22, 2012 06:32AM usafmom wrote:

I should have added that if it showed no change from maybe a MRI or ct scan you had previously that is good news. The petscan will just help confirm malignancy from benign or inflammation.

Hugs Kimber

Dx 10/31/2007, IDC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 12/40 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 22, 2012 03:41PM mari55 wrote:

Kimber's explanation is right on.  I would add that even though I am stable I continue to have some active or "hot" spots in my bones so unless these are new spots you may not need to change treatment.  I wish you the best


DCIS 1999, R mastectomy. Mets to spine, sternum,ribs,and femurs Jan. 2010 and new primary on left, DCIS, Dec. 2009. I am not afraid of dying, I am afraid of not living

Dx 1/11/2010, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 22, 2012 05:52PM nancyh wrote:

Hey Goldie, 

Sorry to hear about the hot spots, the explanation above is correct. PET scans tell how active the cancer is, so between your scan results and TM's going up it might be time to change treatment.  Good luck with your appointment and keep us posted. 

Stage 4 in 2009, mets to liver, lungs, bones, and brain.

Dx 8/12/2002, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIb, 3/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 4/2/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 9/1/2009, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-Chemotherapy 10/01/2002 Adriamycin, CytoxanChemotherapy 01/01/2003 TaxolHormonal Therapy 05/01/2003 TamoxifenRadiation Therapy 05/01/2003 ExternalSurgery 05/01/2007 Mastectomy (Both)Chemotherapy 06/01/2007 Cytoxan, fluorouracil, methotrexateSurgery 05/01/2008 Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement, Latissimus Dorsi flap (Both)Targeted Therapy 09/01/2009 AvastinChemotherapy 09/01/2009 AbraxaneHormonal Therapy 06/01/2010 FemaraChemotherapy 09/01/2011 XelodaHormonal Therapy 01/01/2012 FaslodexChemotherapy 06/01/2012 NavelbineChemotherapy 05/01/2013 GemzarHormonal Therapy 06/01/2013 AromasinTargeted Therapy 08/01/2013 AfinitorChemotherapy 10/28/2013 Halaven