PET/CT for Cancer

Cancer describes a condition where the cells of the body begin to change and multiply chaotically. The extra cells form growths or tumors, which may be benign or malignant. Benign tumors are not cancerous: they can be removed and generally do not return. Malignant tumors, however, are cancer. They not only grow locally, invading and destroying tissues surrounding them, but cancerous cells can break away from the original tumor and start new cancerous growth in other parts of the body. When this occurs, it is called "metastasis."

In early stages, cancers of many kinds can be successfully treated and the individuals who have them cured. The challenge is to find cancer early. It often spreads secretly and quietly with no discernible symptoms, evading detection until it presents a much more serious health risk.

Just the word cancer evokes a certain amount of fear in many people. Cancer comes in a variety of different forms and affects millions of Americans each year. The American Cancer Society estimates nearly 1.5 million cancer cases occur annually. It impacts the lives of many more than that, when family members and caregivers are added in. Fortunately, progress continues to be made both in diagnosing cancer and in treating it.

PET/CT scanning is used in the diagnosis of, and evaluation of treatment for, the types of cancer listed above as well as many other types of cancer, including ovarian cancer and cervical cancer, as well as bladder and kidney cancer.

To learn a little more about specific types of cancer, click on one of the links in the list on the top of this page. More detailed information is also available from our Referring Physician section.