A report from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) shows that physicians should use a particular scan to determine if pancreatic cancer patients can benefit from surgery. NICE provides new guidance, which suggests that doctors should use a PET-CT scan in the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. These scans will help doctors know the stage of the cancer allowing them to determine the right treatment.
- Early scans reduce the number of surgeries – According to NICE, using a PET-CT scan to establish the staging of pancreatic cancer could reduce the number of surgical procedures needed to remove the tumors by about 20 percent.
- How the PET-CT scan works – PET-CT refers to an imaging machine that blends a PET and a CT scan. It provides doctors with detailed information with regard to the individual’s cancer, the tumor size, and the extent of spread. While the CT scan takes several x-rays around your body, the PET scan works using a mildly radioactive drug, which highlights various parts in the body with abnormally active cells. A radiographer operates a PET-CT scan and it typically takes anywhere between 30 minutes and one hour.
The PET-CT scans can help to:
- Diagnose cancer
- Determine whether you need surgery for removal of the tumor
- Stage the cancer so physicians can tell if it has spread
- Decide on the suitable treatment for cancer
- Locate a part in your body where the cancer began growing
- Check whether the cancer has returned