PET Scan Diagnosis
Radiography and nuclear medicine have come a long way since their inception many years ago. There are currently a wide variety of diagnostic procedures within these fields that are helpful in diagnosing mesothelioma. Diagnostic procedures also play a prominent role in the prognosis and treatment of the disease. The more a physician can learn about how the patient's disease is progressing, the more accurate their course of treatment will be.
One such method of diagnosis is called a positron emission tomography (PET) scan. This procedure is a nuclear medicine imaging process that provides a series of three-dimensional photographs of the part of the body in question. The patient ingests a liquid known as a tracer, which will show up on an x-ray and release positrons, which create three-dimensional spaces. PET scans are the most advanced form of imaging tests, more so than x-rays, MRIs, or CT scans. These particular tests provide vital details concerning the affected tissue's function.
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Why Use PET Scans
A PET scan is generally used to determine which treatment options will be most advantageous for a patient. Once the course of treatment has been determined, this test can also asses if those methods are having a positive effect on the patient's cancer, as tissue changes will be reflected in the scan. PET is especially useful for staging mesothelioma cancer because it can pinpoint the exact advancement of the malignancies. Used as a part of the diagnostic process for pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, the details of the PET scan highlight the affected areas (the lining of the lungs or abdomen) and contrast them with the patient’s noncancerous tissues.
CT and PET Scans
A PET-CT is a scan that uses the tissue evaluation associated with PET combined with a computed tomography (CT) extensive imaging function. This combination is especially helpful in evaluating patients whose mesothelioma is in an advanced stage.
A PET scan is capable of revealing even slight changes in malignant tumors with a high degree of accuracy, providing valuable information for physicians. Diagnosing and treating mesothelioma can be complex; however, advancements are continually being made. With the aid of diagnostic tools such as this one, patients recently diagnosed with mesothelioma could receive a more favorable prognosis.