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Does mesothelioma show up on PET scan?

Pet scans are different from other types of imaging. While x-rays and other, newer types of scans show the density of various tissues and materials, PET scans focus on metabolic activity—what is actually happening in the tissue. To prepare for the scan, the patient takes a radioactive drug called a tracer, which can be swallowed, inhaled or injected. The substance collects at the parts of the body that have the highest level of metabolic activity (i.e., they are consuming nutrients and multiplying quickly).

The patient then lies on a padded table that slides into a large cylindrical machine, similar to a CT scan. Through high-tech imaging, the machine scans the locations where the tracer is concentrated. Because cancer is highly active, it can show where tumors and large concentrations of cancer cells are.

Does mesothelioma show up on PET scan?

Pet scans are often used to diagnose mesothelioma. They can show things that other scans can’t and reveal smaller areas of cancerous cells that might not show up on another type of test. PET scans aren’t typically used on their own, but with other types of scan to produce a fuller picture of what’s happening. They can show even small increases in metabolic activity, but their resolution is lower than other tests.

Beyond scans, doctors might proceed to a biopsy to reach a full diagnosis and determine whether cancerous tumors are actually caused by mesothelioma.

Does mesothelioma show up on PET scan?

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