Results of a Melanoma PET/CT Exam
PET/CT works by first using CT to build an anatomical image of the body. PET is then used to gauges the biochemical function of the tumour, so that it can be found or aged. The whole process can also determine if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, as is common in cases of melanoma.
PET/CT use a small amount of a radioactive drug, which is normally FDG: a tracer in combination with a compound such as glucose. Once injected the FDG tracer travels through the body.
FDG emits signals as it travels and eventually collects in the organs targeted for examination. If an area in an organ is cancerous, the signals will be stronger (as shown on the images) since more glucose will be absorbed in those areas. Your physician or surgeon will pick up theses stronger images.