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A PET/CT scan is a non-invasive procedure that provides unique information about the body’s metabolism, cell function, and the exact location of disease, specifically cancer, cardiac and neurological diseases. PET/CT scan is one of the most advanced and powerful imaging techniques available to diagnose diseases. Having a PET/CT scan streamlines testing and decreases the need for invasive biopsies, reducing the time, pain, and expense of multiple procedures for the patient

How PET works
A patient receives a compound injection, like glucose, labeled with signal-emitting tracers. A scanner records the signals these tracers emit as they journey though the human body and collect in the various organs targeted for examination. As the tracers move through the body, a computer assembles the signals into actual images for viewing by your physician. All body cells use glucose, however, cancer cells are highly metabolic and use more glucose than neighboring cells. The strength of the signals makes cancer cells easy to spot on a PET scan.

Physicians use PET/CT scan in several ways, including:

Whole Body Scan

  • Helps physicians diagnose many common cancers, including breast, colorectal, esophageal, head and neck, lung, lymphoma, melanoma, ovarian, pancreatic, thyroid, and musculoskeletal tumors

  • Identifies what portions of the body contain cancer

  • Determines whether the cancer has spread to other organs

  • Evaluates how well the patient is responding to treatment

Heart Scan

  • Distinguishes healthy heart muscle from non-functioning tissue after a heart attack

  • Identifies whether or not the heart muscle is getting adequate blood supply

  • Evaluates the extent of heart disease in patients being considered for heart bypass or transplant operations

Brain Scan

  • Differentiates recurring brain tumors from healthy tissue for targeted radiation therapy

  • Differentiates lymphoma of the central nervous system from toxoplasmosis, a disease with similar symptoms caused by a microscopic parasite

  • Differentiates Alzheimer’s disease from dementia that is caused by multiple mini-strokes

  • Evaluates the source of epileptic seizures that are not being completely controlled by medical therapy