In cardio-oncology, various imaging tests can and are applied alongside cancer treatments, due to the necessity of cardiotoxic therapies. Nuclear cardiac imaging, such as PET/CT, is utilized to determine the status of cancer patients’ cardiac health during, before, and after treatment periods to ensure stability.
Several types of imaging are used to detect various forms of cardiac disease, including subclinical and clinical heart failure, coronary artery disease, pericardial damage, valvular heart disease, and vascular complications.
Outside of cardio oncology, PET/CT scans are frequently used to identify unhealthy tissue throughout the body, assisting in early cancer diagnoses by quickly locating cancerous cells. PET/CT is also beneficial for identifying relapses in cancer patients. Because of this, there is potential for PET/CT to be able to eliminate the need for diagnostic biopsies, decreasing unnecessary procedures, as well as tissue and organ removal.
In addition, some cancer patients will benefit from a PET/CT scan post surgery, as this can help their doctor determine the success of the surgery and make decisions about further treatment. PET/CT can also aid in cancer management by clearly highlighting cancerous cells post non-surgical cancer therapies.
The benefits of PET/CT for cardio oncology specifically, and cancer management in general, remain extensive. The technological improvements of these advanced imaging scans have allowed physicians to treat patients with less invasive techniques than in the past, and provided improved methods for catching life threatening complications early on.
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