Some biomarker and imaging tests are effective in staging cancers. For instance, flourodeoxyglucose (FDG) PETs are most effective at staging NSCLC (non-small-cell lung cancer), restaging HL (Hodgkin lymphoma), staging/restaging colorectal cancer, and detection of SPN (solitary pulmonary nodule). However, the clinical impacts of these tests for surveillance of asymptomatic patients are unclear, particularly in cases where early detection of recurrence is unlikely to improve clinical outcomes.
Moreover, despite more recent evidence that PET-CT scanning and serial measurement of serum tumour markers can be helpful for some asymptomatic patients by leading to appropriate treatment modifications, there are alternatives to these intensive approaches for detecting recurrence (e.g. surveillance mammography and clinical breast examination in the case of breast cancer). .
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