PET/CT and Esophageal cancer

Diagnosis and treatment

The treatment course and patient outlook from Esophageal cancer depends to a certain extent on the accurate staging of the cancer.

Diagnosing Esophageal cancer requires a doctor to perform various tests that include:

  • Video esophagram (barium swallowing)
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Biopsy

A doctor may also order a PET/CT to see if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, liver, lungs, or adrenal glands.

The PET/CT is a useful non-invasive test that can be of great benefit to doctors in diagnosing and treating Esophageal cancer. PET can highlight the biochemical state of any cancer and CT can accurately locate the cancer and see if it has spread. All of this information is vitally important to planning a strategy to remove the cancer.

PET/CT is also useful for looking to see if cancer returns. In some patients esophageal cancers may remain after treatment. The mass itself can be viewed on the CT scan, but CT alone cannot determine if the tumor has been successfully treated or if residual cancer remains that must be treated.

The PET scan from the PET/CT can be used to image how the tumor has responded to therapy and to detect recurrence in successfully treated lesions.



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