- Critical Care Associates
Shea, M.D., F.C.C.P.
What is a PET scan?
PET scan, or Positron Emission Tomography scan, is an
imaging technique that allows physicians to examine many organs of the body and
is helpful in diagnosing many diseases, such as cancer.
Other techniques, such as CT scan or MRI, only show organ structure,
where as PET shows organ structure and function.
is able to differentiate between malignant and benign tumors since it shows how
the organ functions. PET can detect if a disease has moved from one part of the
body to another, which is not evident clinically or through routine imaging.
By uncovering abnormalities that might otherwise go undetected, PET
guides physicians to the most appropriate treatment.
Whats involved in the procedure?
During a PET scan, a patient receives an injection of a small amount of
radioactive glucose (sugar) into their bloodstream.
There is no danger from this injection.
The radiation exposure associated with PET is similar to that of
conventional CT scanning. Next, the
patient will wait about an hour while the injection is distributed through their
body. Then the patient will lie on
a table, keeping their head still, that will slowly pass through the scanner.
The entire visit lasts about two to three hours.
The actual procedure is safe with no side effects, and lasts about
forty-five minutes. Typically, the
patient will be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night
before their appointment.
are PET scans important when it comes to cancer?
Ø Detects recurrent cancer early on.
extremely small cancerous tumors, which means earlier diagnoses and treatment.
between benign and malignant tumors.
in determining tumor stage.
between operable and inoperable disease.
way of screening diseases.
multiple medical testing procedures with a single exam, producing imaging
information of superior quality.
reduce or eliminate ineffective and unnecessary treatment - and the associated
What Types of Diseases Can a PET Scan Detect?
Medicare Policy covers the following six cancer groups and also covers two
non-cancer clinical conditions:
more information visit these websites: