Why have a PET scan?
Detecting cancers early
PET scans are good at detecting many types of cancer:
- lymphoma and melanoma
- colorectal and oesophageal cancers
- cancers in the brain, lungs, head and neck
- breast, thyroid, cervical and pancreatic cancers
A PET scan can detect tumours early, when they are still small, and easier to treat.
It can also help to find out whether a tumour is benign or malignant, without the need for an invasive surgical procedure.
A PET scan of the brain can show up any abnormal brain activity.
PET scans can help to diagnose dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, epilepsy, drug-induced damage and other neurological conditions.
A PET scan can show where there is reduced blood flow, and help to tell healthy muscle from damaged muscle. This can be important to people who have had heart attacks in the past, and are now being considered for a procedure such as angioplasty.
Detailed 3D images
A PET scan builds a three-dimensional computer image of the inside of a living body, without the need for surgery. It’s precise and accurate, and can be manipulated and examined in detail.