PET Better than CT Scan for Certain Things
A PET scan
is significantly different from the other types of scans (such as CT scans) which are available for detecting disease. Although it's not always necessary to use a PET scan, it can often be the best option for seeing what needs to be seen by a doctor. A recent study
showed that to be the case specifically for detecting malignant solitary pulmonary modules.
"Detecting and characterizing solitary pulmonary nodules is important because malignant nodules represent a potentially curable form of lung cancer. Identifying which (nodules) are most likely to be malignant enables physicians to initiate the proper therapy before local or distant metastases develop." (source)
Normally the progression of testing proceeds from one type of scan to another. In other words, your doctor will probably first have you get checked out with a CT scan and then might order a PET scan to obtain additional medical information. However, this study points to the fact that there are some cases in which the PET scan is probably the better scan right from the start. Question of the Day: What questions do you have about PET scans? photo link