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Diagnosing with PET/CT Scans

You've heard of X-rays and MRIs - but PET/CT scans are becoming more and more common as a way to diagnose cancer and other health issues.

JOPLIN, MO-- You've heard of X-rays and MRIs - but PET/CT scans are becoming more and more common as a way to diagnose cancer and other health issues.

"A PET and a CT scan - how they work together: a PET scan is used to look for metabolic activity in the body because cancers are metabolically active, it's really good at diagnosing cancer. And a CT scan is good at showing where you have masses. And when you use you can see where is the abnormality and if it's suspicious if it's cancer." Dr. Joshua Ball says the combination is more effective than other kinds of diagnostic imaging. "X-rays, CT and MRIs - they're good at looking for structures, for masses. But we don't know when we see those on those studies - are they active? You could have a big scar that might look like something suspicious on a CT but you just don't know. Why PET is so good, you can really tell where and how active these masses are."

Dr. Ball adds that PET/CT scans can help diagnose a wide range of conditions. "So cancer, infection, inflammation and even dementia are all uses for PET and PET/CT."

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