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A 61-year-old female asked:

Is there an alternative to pet for staging lung cancer?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph Accurso
Radiology 30 years experience
Several Options: Several tests can help stage lung cancer. A contrast enhanced (injected into a vein) CT is the usual first test. The advantage of a PET/CT (not just a PET) is the ability to look for disease in unexpected places (brain for example) or in areas which appear normal on CT, like small lymph nodes. PET shows areas which are using sugar for energy, as some cancers, including lung, do.
Dr. Brian Wosnitzer
Nuclear Medicine 19 years experience
Imaging studies...: PET is very helpful for initial staging as it can help stage disease and detect spread of disease to local lymph nodes or distant sites. The appropriate initial staging can help determine the best initial treatment. PET is useful because it measures metabolic activity rather than just anatomy and structure. Tumors tend to have increased metabolism on PET and may appear normal on CT alone.

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Last updated May 26, 2017

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