Just back from a nice relaxing holiday in Tenerife. I don’t know about you but when overseas I find myself looking for ‘hotspots’ everywhere I go……. I don’t mean trendy entertainment venues, I’m talking about the modern phenomenon known as a WiFi signal! I also mean free and open connections. Even recent price reductions within Europe did not tempt me to use ‘data’ overseas and I didn’t even want to take advantage of the £2 per day upgrade of my mobile phone account which would give me access to my minutes/MBs overseas on a temporary basis. I just look for free WiFi and I also make a point of turning off ‘data’ on my phone before leaving the country to avoid expensive mistakes. No Scottish jokes please, I’m just frugal 🙂
My hotspot finding in Tenerife was relatively successful – it isn’t rocket science. However, that’s the second time in the last month I’ve been involved in ‘finding hotspots’. The first was explained in my blog posts: http://wp.me/p4AplF-n3 and: http://wp.me/p4AplF-o3. As a reminder, the Octreotide Scan is currently the gold standard for ‘finding hotspots‘ in Neuroendocrine Cancer patients, although newer techniques and binding agents are coming on line which have greater efficiency (e.g. Ga-68 DOTATATE PET/CT). A hotspot was identified in 2010 (amongst others) in the area of my neck – specifically in the left Supraclavicular Fossa (SCF) lymph nodes (collar bone area). There was also some take-up in my left axillary nodes (armpit). The armpit nodes were palpable and therefore resected in Feb 2012 as a follow on from major surgery in 2010 and 2011. During the same procedure, the surgeon also opened me up in the area of the left SCF nodes and removed 5 of them. However, all of these 5 nodes tested negative and given the findings (and the nature) of the Octreotide scan, this was unusual (to me).
I met with my Consultant before going on holiday and he explained my test results were all good but that there was still a ‘hotspot’ showing up on the Octreotide scan in my neck. The scanning machine is newer technology than the one used in my previous Octreotide scans. It also has a built-in CT (SPECT) scanner and therefore the ability to overlay multiple types of scans. In fact the radiologist is reporting the neck hotspot location as the thyroid rather than the left SCF lymph nodes indicated in the two previous scans in 2010 and 2011.
Whatever is going on in my neck area has been there for at least 4 years but as my biochemistry results are good, I guess it’s not life threatening. Nonetheless, 3 separate Octreotide scans have lit up an area in my neck indicating there is a risk which needs to be managed. My Consultant has been investigating whilst I was on holiday, so will provide updates in future blogs.
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