ZocdocAnswersAre lung PET scans similar to breast PET scans?

Question

Are lung PET scans similar to breast PET scans?

Do both of them look for cancer? My doctor is concerned about my health and is scheduling both.

Answer

A PET (stands for positron emission tomography) scan is done as a part of a cancer work up when a cancer has already been found. All PET scans are essentially similar in that they are designed to look for and find areas of the body where cancer is growing. Pet scans usually encompass the whole body and thus, there is really no difference between a breast PET scan and a lung PET scan. You should only have to go through the scanner one time to see any abnormalities in your breasts, lungs and abdomen. I should note that a PET scan is not something that is typically ordered by a primary doctor out in the community. PET scans are not used as screening tests to look for cancer. They are usually done when a cancer has been found already, and there is a desire to see if it has metastasized. I think the type of doctor qualified to discuss your PET scan result would be a hematologist / oncologist. This is a specialist that treats people for cancer and would be the best equipped to evaluate a PET scan and be able to interpret its results. Good luck.

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