PET/CT Scan, which images the entire body in a single examination, is generally used by physicians in diagnosing, staging and evaluating treatments for cancer patients. For patients newly diagnosed, it can help avoid painful, costly and invasive surgery while determining if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body so that appropriate treatment can be started.
A PET/CT Scan can also help physicians monitor patients during treatment, checking to see if chemotherapy leads to changes in cellular activity long before structural changes can be measured. This allows physicians to evaluate treatments earlier than is possible using other imaging technology, and perhaps make important modifications in treatment.
Once treatment is completed, PET/CT Scan is used to investigate suspected recurrence of cancer, revealing tumors that might otherwise be obscured by scar tissue resulting from surgery and radiation therapy.
Common Uses of PET/CT
Determines benign from malignant tumors in suspicious areas
Surveys the whole body for cancer that may have spread
Monitors the success of therapy
Detects recurrent tumors
Assesses tumor aggressiveness
Determine what heart tissue is still alive following a suspected heart attack
Predict success of angioplasty (balloon) or bypass surgery
Dementia – Detect signs indicative of Alzheimer’s and other dementia
Epilepsy – Determine the precise location for surgery
Parkinson’s – Assist physicians in the diagnosis of movement disorders
Preparing for Your Procedure
Prior to your PET/CT procedure, do not eat or drink anything except water for 4-6 hours before your test. Unless instructed otherwise, take any prescribed medications. Notify your physician if you are pregnant, breast feeding or are diabetic. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing. Avoid strenuous activity and exercise for 24 hours prior to your scan.
About the PET/CT Scan
You will receive an intravenous injection of a radioactive tracer and will rest quietly for approximately 45-60 minutes while the tracer is distributed throughout your body.
You will then be asked to lie on a table that passes slowly through the scanner. The CT portion of the test sends X-rays through the body that are processed to show a whole body map of the tracer distribution.
The entire scanning process takes less than 30 minutes.
To learn about Shore and Advanced Radiology Solutions, or to schedule your appointment, call 609-653-4600.