Dr. Weeks’ Comment: the PET CT gives not just the size and location but also the activity of the cancer. This is important data. Why oncologists offer the CT scan when they could offer the PET CT instead is very bewildering. Ask for the PET CT – especially if you have a head and neck tumor!
PET/CT May Identify Head And Neck Cancer Patients Who Can Avoid Neck Dissection.
MedPage Today (1/30, Bankhead) reports a study presented at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium suggesting that “PET/CT imaging demonstrated good accuracy for identifying patients who can avoid neck dissection after definitive chemoradiation therapy for head and neck cancer. … Retrospective chart review documented that none of the 45 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck with negative post-treatment PET/CT imaging went on to have locoregional recurrence. Positive findings had less predictive value, as seven of 15 patients with abnormalities on PET/CT had negative biopsies, resulting in a false-positive rate of 46%.” Researchers suggested that “routine use of PET/CT scan in the follow up of patients with squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck may be useful for the detection of local-regional recurrences before they become clinically apparent.” The American Society of Clinical Oncology sponsored the symposium in part.