PET or positron emission tomography scan is a nuclear medicine imaging process that produces three-dimensional images of an individual’s affected area. A tracer is ingested by an individual that emits signals of a release positron in three-dimensional space. Unlike MRIs, x-rays or CT scans, positron emission tomography produces vital information about function of affected tissue.
With mesothelioma, a positron emission tomography scan may be used to stage the cancer or to determine the viability of the cancer treatment. If treatment, such as chemotherapy for mesothelioma, is working effectively, then the damaged tissue will reflect in the scan. The scan is optimal for staging mesothelioma cancer by detecting the advancement of the disease. If other surrounding tissue is affected, then the positron emission tomography will produce an image of the metastasizing or malignant mesothelioma cancer.
A positron emission tomography is an ideal diagnostic tool for peritoneal mesothelioma and pleural mesothelioma. The detailed images of the pleura and peritoneum will be highlighted against the contrasting normal tissue.
A PET-CT utilizes the evaluative tissue function feature of positron emission tomography with a computed tomography extensive imaging function. For late-stage mesothelioma, this hybrid may be a critical tool to evaluate the advancing cancer.
Positron emission tomography is a common diagnostic tool available for mesothelioma.
Advancements in treatment for mesothelioma are also rapidly progressing. Armed with these diagnostic tools and improved treatments, individuals battling malignant mesothelioma may have a better prognosis than that if they were diagnosed years ago.
The Merck Manual. Positron Emission Tomography. Accessed on November 9, 2010.
http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec22/ch329/ch329f.html - sec22-ch329-ch329d-151
The Merck Manual. Asbestos-Related Disorders. Accessed on November 9, 2010.
http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec05/ch057/ch057c.html - sec05-ch057-ch057c-1014h