Understanding PET/CT and Cancer
PET/CT is particularly useful in figuring out how well cancers are responding to treatment, determining if someone is cancer-free, and identifying whether cancer has returned and where it’s located.
PET/CT is excellent at figuring out the full scope of a disease, particularly for certain types of cancer. By confirming if cancer has spread, doctors and patients can make more informed decisions about the best course of action.
Right now, PET/CT is considered the most accurate way to tell the difference between a returning tumor, damage from radiation, or changes after surgery. Knowing this helps doctors create a more tailored treatment plan for the patient.
Measuring Chemotherapy Success
Doctors compare how active a tumor is on PET/CT scans taken before and after chemotherapy. If the PET/CT scan shows a positive response, it’s often an earlier sign of the tumor shrinking compared to other tests.
PET/CT scans show what’s happening at a biochemical level, so they can accurately determine if a tumor is harmless or dangerous. This might help people avoid a surgical biopsy when the PET/CT scan comes back negative. On the flip side, since a PET/CT scan looks at the whole body, finding cancer spread in other areas can change the treatment plan from surgery to chemotherapy in some cases.