PET is an imaging procedure that provides physicians with information about the body's chemistry, cell function and exact location of disease. This technology allows physicians to diagnose and determine the extent of various cancers, neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy, and damages to cardiac muscle after a heart attack.
The specific images obtained with PET are not available with other technologies such as CT scans, MRI or X-ray. The difference lies in the ability of PET to study body function rather than giving radiological images of anatomy or body structure.
For oncology patients, PET determines the presence and extent of cancerous tissue which will help in deciding appropriate treatments.