Shaw Cancer Center's Positron Emission Tomography Imaging (PET) and Computerized Tomography (CT) scan allows physicians to measure the body's abnormal molecular cell activity to detect cancer (such as breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, lymphoma, and melanoma and other skin cancers). PET/CT scans are simple, painless and fast, providing physicians the information they need to diagnose disease early so that treatment can begin quickly.
In one continuous full-body scan (usually about 30 minutes), PET captures images of miniscule changes in the body's metabolism caused by the growth of abnormal cells, while CT images simultaneously allow physicians to pinpoint the exact location, size and shape of the diseased tissue or tumor.
- Determine extent of disease
- Determine location of disease for biopsy, surgery or treatment planning
- Assess response to and effectiveness of treatments
- Detect residual or recurrent disease
- May assist in avoiding invasive diagnostic procedures
There are tremendous benefits to having a combined PET/CT scan, including early cancer detection, accurate staging and localization, and precise treatment and monitoring. With the high-tech images that the PET/CT scanner provides, patients have a better chance for a positive outcome and for avoiding unnecessary procedures.
A PET/CT image also provides early detection of the recurrence of cancer, revealing tumors that might otherwise be obscured by scar tissue resulting from surgery and radiation therapy, particularly in the head and neck. The combination PET/CT provides physicians a more complete picture of what is occurring in the body - both anatomically and metabolically.