What is PET/CT?
It is NOT a scan for your cat or dog!
Integrated PET/CT is the most advanced imaging technology for the detection and evaluation of cancer. The whole-body scan generates high-resolution images of abnormal metabolic activity and its precise anatomic location.
“Some of my patients need peace of mind, so even if I don’t always need it clinically, I find it helps them.” - Breast Surgeon
Abnormal biological activity often takes place before physical changes are identifiable by other imaging exams such as MRI, CT, x-ray and ultrasound. A PET/CT scan provides images of the entire body, detecting primary and secondary disease earlier and more accurately than any other imaging technology.
What are the benefits of a PET/CT scan?
- PET/CT often replaces multiple medical testing procedures with a single exam.
- PET/CT frequently identifies disease before it shows up on other exams.
- PET/CT evaluates all organ systems of the body in a single exam, indicating whether or not cancer has spread.
- PET/CT shows the progress of disease and how the body responds to treatment.
- PET/CT reduces or eliminates ineffective or unnecessary surgical or medical treatments.
“I find the PET/CT to be a useful teaching tool for my patients.” - Oncologist
Physicians use PET/CT images to determine the extent of disease, the effectiveness of chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery, and the possibility of recurrence. PET/CT scanning can provide early detection of the recurrence of cancer, revealing tumors that might otherwise be obscured by scar tissue that results from surgery and radiation therapy.
How is the PET/CT scan conducted?
A small amount of radioactive sugar is injected into your bloodstream. The radioactive sugar circulates in your body while you relax for approximately one hour. You then lie on a bed that slowly passes through the scanner. The PET/CT scan takes approximately 30 minutes. After the scan, you will be on your way.
Is a PET/CT scan safe?
Yes, the risks associated with PET/CT scanning are minimal. Radioactive sugar, also known as glucose, is short-lived and leaves your body quickly. The radioactive sugar is not a contrast agent. The radiation exposure associated with a PET/CT scan is similar to that associated with conventional imaging exams.