In cases of lung cancer, PET scans are sometimes used to show whether cancer is present in the lymph nodes in the centre of the chest, as well as whether the cancer has spread to other areas in the body.
- Nuclear medicine is a medical specialty involving the application of radioactive substances in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Diagnostic nuclear medicine tests differ from most other imaging modalities in that they primarily show the physiological function of the system that is being investigated, whereas CT and MRI scans are used for anatomical imaging.
- The radiology practices at Cancare oncology centre in KwaZulu-Natal, and at Netcare Linksfield and Netcare Pretoria East hospitals offer PET scanning.
- The other diagnostic services are offered at radiology practices at Netcare hospitals.
Nuclear medicine imaging studies are generally more organ, tissue or disease specific, for example involving a scan of the lungs, heart, bone or brain, a scan of a tumour, an infection, or specific disease such Parkinson’s. Conventional radiology imaging, on the other hand, focuses on a particular section of the body, for example an x-ray of the chest, CT scan of the abdomen/pelvis or the head.
In addition, there are nuclear medicine studies that allow imaging of the whole body based on certain cellular receptors or functions.