Don’t perform PET/CT for cancer screening in healthy subjects.

Type of practice




The probability to detect a tumor with such method in asymptomatic subjects is lower than 1%. In many cases, the diagnoses deal with indolent tumors (i.e., low grade lymphomas) which do not benefit from early therapy, or far advanced and untreatable (although silent) tumors (i.e., pancreatic cancer). False positive results predominate (mainly in the head-neck region), bringing about extra examinations and unnecessary (so harmful) biopsies and surgical procedures. Like all the other diagnostic methods, PET/TC must be used in front of clear questions and definite clinical settings.


1. Minamimoto R, Senda M, Terauchi T et al. Analysis of various malignant neoplasms detected by FDG-PET cancer screening program: based on a Japanese Nationwide Survey. Ann Nucl Med 2011:25:45-54.
2. Lee JW, Kang KW, Paeng JC, et al. Cancer screening using 18F-FDG PET/CT in Korean asymptomatic volunteers: a preliminary report. Ann Nucl Med 2009; 23: 685-691.

Attention. Please note that these items are provided only for information and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a clinician. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their clinician.