A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that helps reveal how your tissues and organs are functioning. A PET scan uses a radioactive drug (tracer) to show this activity. Often, PET images are combined with CT or MRI scans to create special views.
What is a PET scan for cancer patients?
Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography (PET-CT) Scans. A PET scan may be combined with a CT scan at many cancer treatment centers. However, you may hear your doctor refer to this procedure just as a PET scan. A PET-CT scan is one way to find cancer and learn its stage.
Can a PET scan detect cancer in the lymph nodes?
PET scans, short for Positron Emission Tomography, can detect areas of cancer by obtaining images of the body's cells as they work. PET scans can be useful for evaluating people after breast cancer has already been diagnosed, in a number of different ways: to determine whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.