The combination PET/CT scanner is a major advance in imaging technology and patient care. As the name implies, it combines two scanners—the PET (Positron Emission Tomography), which shows metabolism and the function of cells, and the CT (Computed Tomography), which shows detailed anatomy—into one device. The result is that doctors are now able to get highly defined, 3-D images from inside the human body in one system. This provides important information about a patient’s condition, and allows doctors to make the best choices about treatment of breast cancer.
OUR ADVANCED CAPABILITIES
At the Breast Center of Irvine, we offer two very important PET/CT exams related to breast cancer:
F18 bone scans and PET/CT scans using FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose).
F18 bone scans are used to detect the presence or absence of bone metastasis—information that is critical in the staging and subsequent treatment of breast cancer. F18 bone scans offer the following
advantages over “traditional” bone scans:
Higher quality, 3D images (F18 bone scans generally have twice the resolution over traditional 2D bone scans)
Higher sensitivity for detecting abnormalities (95%)
Faster scans (2 hours vs. 4 hours)
Not affected by shortage of isotope supplies used for traditional bone scans
PET/CT scans using FDG for breast cancer are used for the following:
Detection of local and distant metastasis resulting in more accurate treatment.
Evaluation of response to therapy—treatment can then be altered, if necessary, for better results.
Demonstration of recurrent disease—finding recurrent cancer early prolongs your life and increases your chances of beating the disease