PET Scans Found to Improve Lung Cancer Diagnosis

The diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer patients may be improved by routine imaging with positron emission tomography (P.E.T.), according to a recent research review published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Obtaining images of tumors has long been critical in the diagnoses of many cancers, including lung cancer.  Until recently, that imaging had been accomplished exclusively through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography (CT).  Those two imaging processes uncover anatomical changes that indicate the presence of cancer.  According to this most recent research review, PET scanning, which is based on biochemical changes, appears to detect the presence of cancer even before any anatomical changes occur.  Scientists believe the routine use of PET scanning may improve cancer treatment outcomes by identifying the disease at an earlier stage. 

Authors of the study point out that further research is needed to determine whether the advanced technology should be integrated into the existing staging and diagnostic processes of lung cancer.  While diagnosis with PET scanning is still less accurate than surgical diagnostic procedures, scientists believe it is likely to become a standard diagnostic tool in the future. 

Previously on the DC Metro Area Medical Malpractice Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:

  • A study indicating that many Americans misunderstand cancer risk factors
  • A popular diagnostic heart scan that carries a cancer risk
  • A new test to predict the likelihood that lung cancer will spread

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