A PET scan is a common term for positron emission tomography, an imaging test that can detect certain types of cancer.

A doctor may order a PET scan to learn whether breast cancer:

  • has returned in someone who received prior treatment for it
  • has spread to other parts of the body
  • is responding to treatment

A person should inform their doctor if they are pregnant or nursing before getting a PET scan.

Click through the interactive guide below to learn more about this procedure.