PET/CT is a powerful and accurate tool for every stage of disease management including diagnosis, staging, guiding radiation therapy, response to therapy, re-staging and surveillance.
PET/CT is most often used in diagnosis after an abnormality is seen on a chest x-ray or CT scan. If the lung abnormality turns out to be cancer, then this same scan can be used for staging. If PET/CT is not used for diagnosis, then it is often used for staging.
Lung cancer is often treated with radiation. PET/CT is a useful tool for determining where the radiation should be aimed. Often the staging scan can be used for this purpose.
Lung Cancer Case
Patient: 78 yo male with history of metastatic prostate cancer to bone. New pulmonary nodule was seen on CT. PET/CT was ordered to assess for malignant potential and if positive to stage the patient.
Results: PET/CT determined that the nodule was indeed cancer. This help the patient’s doctor select the most appropriate therapy.
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