What is a PET/CT Scan used for?

PET/CT Scan and Cancer PET/CT Scan and Cancer


PET scans are often used to assess if there is cancer, and if it has spread. The combination of a PET and CT is often the most accurate means to do this. In the case of cancer, your physician may order a PET scan to prescribe treatment, such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. This advanced imaging technique is also commonly used to assess how the cancer is responding to treatment. 

Some cancer types assessed with a PET/CT scan are:

  • Head and neck
  • Lung
  • Lymphoma
  • Breast
  • Colorectal
  • Prostate
  • Esophageal
  • Melanoma
  • Cervica
  • Pancreatic
  • Thyroid

PET/CT Bone Scan PET/CT Bone Scan


A PET/CT Bone scan is a highly sensitive and accurate test. A specialized tracer is used to assess cancer in the bone. Any portion of bone tissue that is behaving abnormally-or is using more energy than normal bone-will appear on the PET scan. This can help a physician differentiate between cancerous and non-cancerous diseases of the skeleton.

PET/CT Scan and the Brain PET/CT Scan and the Brain


PET/CT scans can also be used to evaluate and differentiate between various brain disorders. An FDG PET scan of the brain can assist in the diagnosis or differentiation of Alzheimer disease, frontotemporal dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies. Early detection and diagnosis is important. Early intervention with medicine may slow the progression of the disease.