Positron emission tomography using (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG-PET) has been used for the detection, staging, and response monitoring in breast cancer patients. Although studies have proven its accuracy in detection of the primary tumor and axillary staging, its most important current clinical application is in detection and defining the extent of recurrent or metastatic breast cancer and for monitoring response to therapy. PET is complementary to conventional methods of staging in that it provides better sensitivity in detecting nodal and lytic bone metastases; however, it should not be considered a substitute for conventional staging studies, including computed tomography and bone scintigraphy. FDG uptake in the primary tumor carries prognostic information, but the underlying biochemical mechanisms that are responsible for enhanced glucose metabolism have not been completely elucidated. Future work using other PET tracers besides FDG will undoubtedly help our understanding of tumor biology, improve our ability to measure and predict response and help tailor therapy to individual patients.