Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scans)
PET scans are not used to screen for breast cancer due to the limited ability to detect small tumors. However, PET Scans are useful in staging recently diagnosed breast cancer. PET scans are used to determine whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, metastasized (spread to other parts of the body), and/or responding to treatment.
Computerized Tomography (CT)/ CAT Scans
CT scans are not routinely used to evaluate the breasts. CT scans may be used to check if a tumor has spread into the chest wall depending on how large the cancer appears. This is helpful to determine the type of surgery your breast cancer surgeon will recommend.
Thermagraphy or Thermal Imaging
Thermagraphy measures the temperature of a patient’s skin to screen for breast cancer cells that are growing. The idea behind thermal imaging is that if cancer cells are multiplying then blood flow and metabolism will be up and, thus, the body temperature. This procedure does not involve radiation. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put out a safety communication on February 25, 2019 explaining that thermography is NOT a substitute for mammograms and does NOT have valid scientific evidence to be an effective screening tool for any medical condition including the early detection of breast cancer.
Meet Our Breast Health Care Team
The Margie Petersen Breast Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center brings you some of the finest breast health and cancer care in Southern California.