Published online Jun 28, 2014. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v6.i6.238
Revised: February 16, 2014
Accepted: March 7, 2014
Published online: June 28, 2014
Core tip: Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) computed tomography (CT) scans should be obtained for patients for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck whenever clinically indicated and feasible. Pre-treatment scans are helpful in detecting the sites of primary cancer, staging the tumor and ruling out the presence of distant metastases. For patients undergoing radiation therapy, PET/CT scans provide anatomic as well as functional information to aid in treatment planning. After completion of radiotherapy, PET scans should be obtained approximately 12 wk after treatment to assess treatment response and to determine if any salvage therapy is required for persistent, recurrent or metastatic disease.