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PET outperforms CT in characterization of lung nodules
Date:2/6/2008

ign.

SPNs are commonly encountered in both primary and specialty settings, often showing up on chest X-rays obtained for some other purpose than cancer screening and are often the first manifestation of lung cancer. The question for these patients then becomes whether to undergo surgery, undergo a needle biopsy or watch and wait to find out if the nodule is benign or malignant but treatable.

In patients with an untreated and undiagnosed SPN between 7 and 30 millimeters, PET provides better identification of malignant nodules that require a more aggressive treatment approach, said Fletcher. PET in combination with CT can also provide good identification of those nodules that are most likely to be benign, suggesting that a watch and wait strategy can be adopted in lieu of unnecessary invasiveand expensiveprocedures such as needle biopsy or surgery, he added.

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in the United States, with approximately 155,000 deaths each year. Although the survival rate is 49 percent for cases detected when the disease is still localized, only 16 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at this early stage. Recently, almost 7 percent of 1,000 healthy volunteers in New York who participated in the Early Lung Cancer Action Project were found to have between one and three nodules on baseline screening X-rays.


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Contact: Kathryn Wiley
kwiley@snm.org
703-326-1184
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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