PET scans are used to detect lung cancer because they can identify areas of the body where there is a high level of metabolic activity, which can indicate the presence of a tumor. A substance called a tracer, which is injected into the bloodstream, is used in a PET scan to help show where the cancer cells are. The tracer is attracted to the cancer cells and will accumulate in those areas, making them visible on the scan. Because lung cancer can spread to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes and bones, a PET scan can also help to detect if cancer has spread and to what extent. Additionally, PET scans can help determine the stage of cancer and aid in treatment planning.
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