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PET-CT tests may help identify hidden cancers

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

U.S. researchers have recently found that a combination positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) scan of the whole body may more accurately detect cancer in individuals with related neurological complications than other commonly used tests.

Neurological disorders frequently occur in people with lung, breast or ovarian cancer because the cancer-resistant antibodies mistakenly attack cells found in the nervous system, according to Med Page Today.

Routine screenings for cancer in patients with neurological difficulties may often be inconclusive due to the size and location of tumors within the body.

In a study conducted at the Mayo Clinic, researchers found that PET-CT scans detected cancer in 18 percent of the patients exhibiting abnormal behavior who had received negative oncology reports.

"This is important in that firstly, cancer is detected," lead author Andrew McKeon said in an interview with Med Page Today.

"The cancers were treated in all patients and seven of 10 patients went into remission," he added. "In addition, five of 10 had improvements in neurologic problems through cancer treatment or treatment with immunotherapies."

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