An estimated 9,000 Americans are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease each year. About 1,000 die from it annually. This cancer of the blood, although rare, can often be treated when it is caught early and the progression of the disease is well understood. Accurate staging is simply critical for ensuring the right form of treatment is recommended and pursued.
The advancements presented by the positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) scan have been employed in the staging of this disease. The technology, as it turns out, is providing itself highly effective for staging the disease. The accuracy rate, in fact, has given rise to a recommended change in the international guidelines for staging this disease. The desire is to see PET-CT replace the standard CT entirely.
Wanting to gauge the accuracy of the PET-CT versus the standard CT and other staging methods, researchers recently conducted a trial that compared staging results using different techniques. The PET-CT scan, as it turned out, was highly effective at delivering accurate staging results when checked against other methods. The bottom line is that researchers agreed with the benefits of using PET-CT scans to help stage Hodgkin.
PET-CT scans combine the best of both of these standard diagnostic procedures. The resulting images offer clinicians greater insights into the inner workings of a patient’s body to detect and assess injury and illnesses, such as cancer.
Treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other pharmaceutical interventions. This blood-based form of cancer can strike children and adults alike. Advances in treatments have increased the survival rates for this disease over the past few years. At present, the five-year survival rate is about 85 percent. Staging can impact the chances of survival as can a patient’s age, among other factors. People who are diagnosed with Hodgkin disease should speak with their healthcare provider about all staging and treatment recommendations.