PET/CT is a form of hybrid imaging that combines computed tomography (CT), an anatomical imaging, with positron emission tomography (PET), a functional imaging.
With the prevalence of personalized medicine, the information obtained by PET/CT and several other investigations would help the oncologist decide on the best treatment modality.
When a metastasis is found and the primary care doctor is unsure of the primary site of the cancer – for example, if it originated from the lung, breast or colon – PET/CT is a useful tool to map out the possible sites where the cancer first originated.
In addition to this, PET/CT being a functional imaging modality is excellent for pinpointing the optimal sites for biopsy.
After the treatment has been instituted, PET/CT is usually repeated to decide how much the treatment has worked and if there is a need to alter the treatment modality or to proceed with the current mode of therapy.
PET/CT is also done after the completion of chemotherapy to gauge the cancer’s extent of regression.
In cases of complete remission where the cancer is no longer present, PET/CT is used as a surveillance tool.