A PET scan is an imaging test that creates images of your organs and tissues at work. The test employs a radiotracer, a safe, injectable radioactive substance, and a PET scanner.
The scanner detects sick cells that absorb a considerable amount of radiotracer, indicating a possible health issue.
PET scans are commonly used by healthcare providers to help detect cancer and evaluate cancer treatment. The scan can also be used to evaluate certain heart and brain disorders.
A positron emission tomography (PET) scan employs a radiotracer, a harmless injectable radioactive substance, and a PET scanner to produce images of your organs and tissues at work.
When could I require a PET scan?
A PET scan, in general, can evaluate essential activities such as blood flow, oxygen consumption, and blood sugar (glucose) metabolism. It can also detect organs and tissues that aren’t performing properly.
If your doctor suspects you have cancer, he or she would most likely recommend a PET scan, which can identify cancer and/or make a diagnosis.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with cancer, your doctor may advise you to get more than one PET scan during your treatment to:
Determine whether your cancer has spread throughout your body.
Evaluate the treatment’s efficacy.
Determine whether the cancer has reappeared following therapy (recurred).
Examine the cancer’s prognosis (prognosis).
If you have cardiac problems, your doctor may recommend a PET scan to:
Determine the impact of a heart attack on different parts of your heart.
If you have neurological symptoms, your doctor may recommend a PET scan to rule out tumours, seizures, and other central nervous system disorders.
What is the procedure for a PET scan?
PET scans are a form of nuclear medicine imaging. Nuclear medicine employs radiotracers, which are small and harmless doses of radioactive material administered via IV.
PET scans, unlike other imaging modalities, concentrate on processes and chemical activity within the body. This gives them the ability to detect sickness in its early stages.
In your body, diseased cells absorb more radiotracer than healthy cells. These are referred to as “hot spots.” This radiation is detected by the PET scanner, which generates images of the afflicted tissue. A PET/CT scan combines X-ray images from a CT scan with images from a PET scan.
How long does it take to have a PET scan?
The complete PET scan procedure takes approximately two hours.
It can take up to 60 minutes for your body to absorb the radiotracer that was administered. You must sit quietly and keep your movements to a minimum during this period. The PET scan itself takes roughly 30 minutes. You’ll have to wait after the test as the technician checks the scans to verify the photos are clear.