Oncology Imaging

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) has become an essential diagnostic tool physicians use to reveal the presence and severity of cancers. PET imaging helps physicians detect cancer, evaluate the extent of disease, select the most appropriate treatments, determine if the therapy is working, and detect any recurrent tumors.


Before a PET scan, the patient receives an intravenous injection of radioactive glucose. Many cancer cells are highly metabolic and rapidly synthesize the radioactive glucose. Information regarding the location of abnormal levels of radioactive glucose obtained from the whole-body PET scan helps physicians effectively pinpoint the source of cancer and detect whether cancer is isolated to one specific area or has spread to other organs.


From this information physicians can plan an effective treatment strategy. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, systemic therapy, or a combination therapy where one or more of these options are combined.


During the course of treatment, the information from the PET scan allows physicians to monitor the effectiveness of cancer therapies and provides physicians with the opportunity to change the treatment strategy if it is not working, avoiding the cost and discomfort of ineffective therapeutic procedures.


After completing the treatment regimen, a follow-up whole-body PET scan can provide information to assess if the treatment was successful and if areas that were previously abnormally metabolically active have responded. Often, scar tissue at the site of surgical resection or radiation treatment may appear as an abnormality on the CT scan. The PET scan can detect residual disease within the scar tissue and indicate if the treatment was successful or if the tumor has returned.


PET scans provide information to help physicians:

  • Locate the site of the cancer
  • Determine the size of the tumor
  • Differentiate benign from malignant growths
  • Discover if the cancer has spread
  • Select treatments that are likely to be appropriate
  • Monitor the success of therapy
  • Detect any recurrent tumors


Brain Tumor

Information from the PET scan helps physicians characterize brain tumors and guide biopsy.



Breast Cancer

The information from the PET scan allows physicians to monitor the effectiveness of cancer therapies.



Cervical Cancer

Early determination of how far cervical cancer has spread is key to selecting the most appropriate treatment.


Colorectal Cancer

PET can be used to image colorectal cancer response to therapy and to detect recurrence in treated lesions.


Esophageal Cancer

PET scanning is an important addition to other tests that can be done right after you are diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus.


Head/Neck Cancer

PET imaging can help physicians locate some primary lesions not identified by other methods and can help determine the extent of disease. 

Lung Cancer

Information from the PET scan allows physicians to distinguish malignant from benign pulmonary nodules.



Treatment can be tailored specifically to the patient, depending upon the location and extent of cancer. 



Information from the PET scan allows physicians to evaluate for distant metastatic disease. 



Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer accounts for nearly 3% of all cancers among women and ranks second among the gynecological cancers, following cancer of the uterus.

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid disease affects 27 million Americans, more than the number diagnosed with diabetes and cancer combined.


Urinary Tract Cancer

Information from the PET scan helps physicians stage urinary tract cancers. 


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