What is a PET/CT scan?
A PET/CT allows access to better information—sooner—and improves patient care.
The PET/CT has revolutionized non-invasive diagnostics. It is used for earlier and accurate detection as well as more accurate staging for many cancers including lung, colorectal, breast, and head and neck. This will also help your physician to determine the best approach for treatment.
This advanced nuclear imaging technique combines positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) into once machine. A PET/CT scan reveals information about both the structure and function of cells and tissues in the body during a single imaging session. Physicians are provided with whole-body views of their patients.
During a PET/CT scan, the patient is first injected with a glucose (sugar) solution that contains a very small amount of radioactive material. The substance is absorbed by the particular organs or tissues being examined. The patient rests on a table and slides into a large tunnel-shaped scanner. The PET/CT scanner is then able to “see” damaged or cancerous cells where the glucose is being taken up (cancer cells often use more glucose than normal cells) and the rate at which the tumor is using the glucose (which can help determine the tumor grade). The procedure is painless and varies in length, depending on the part of the body that is being evaluated.
The staff at the June E. Nylen Cancer Center will educate you on how to prepare for the test as well as details of what will happen before, during and after the procedure. They will answer any questions or concerns you may have.