The next major area in medical imaging is PET/CT. Positron emission tomography (PET) and Computerized Tomography (CT) are both standard imaging tools that allow physicians to pinpoint the location of cancer within the body before making treatment recommendations. The highly sensitive PET scan detects the metabolic signal of actively growing cancer cells in the body and the CT scan provides a detailed picture of the internal anatomy that reveals the location, size, and shape of abnormal cancerous growths. Alone, each imaging test has particular benefits and limitations, but when the results of PET and CT scans are “fused” together, the combined image provides complete information on the cancer location and metabolism. The next advance in medical imaging that should be mentioned here is represented by “full body scans.” Time was when our best medical minds thought peptic ulcers were a “lifestyle disease,” the result of too much stress, too much spicy food, or some combination thereof. For treatment, doctorly prescriptions included time off from work, chewing your food thoroughly, popping antacids, and drinking quantities of milk. In severe cases, patients went under the knife to have their stomach linings removed.
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