Positron-emission tomography can often help your oncologist avoid unnecessary tests and treatment by helping your physician determine the extent and severity of cancer for the purpose of developing both a treatment plan and prognosis. PET is combined with CT scanning to provide an accurate picture of the cancer’s location, as well as the metabolic activity within cancer cells.
PET/CT services are available at the Center for Specialty Care.
TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT
Call 1-978-287-3003 to schedule an appointment for a PET/CT scan.
TO OBTAIN TEST RESULTS
Requires a signed medical records release and ID.
Just reports: 978-287-3870
Reports & images: 978-287-2925
Preparing for a PET/CT Scan
- You can take your daily medications as you normally would, unless instructed otherwise.
- Metal objects including jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins may affect the PET/CT images and should be left at home or removed prior to your exam. You may also be asked to remove hearing aids and removable dental work.
- You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours beforehand.
- Women should always inform their physician and the technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy so as not to expose the fetus to radiation.
What to Expect During the Exam
- Most PET/CT exams are painless, fast and easy. The scan typically involves lying still on an examination table that moves through the PET/CT scanner. The PET/CT scanning is usually completed within 30 minutes. You will be asked to wait until the technologist determines that the images are of high enough quality for the radiologist to read.
After the Exam
- After a PET/CT exam, you may return to normal activities.
About PET/CT Scanning
PET/CT is a newer imaging tool that combines two scan techniques—Positron-Emission Tomography (PET) and Computerized Tomography)—in one exam.
CT scanning—sometimes called CAT scanning—is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. It combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. These cross-sectional images of the area being studied can then be examined on a computer monitor or printed.
PET scans measure metabolic activity and molecular function by using a radioactive glucose that is injected into the patient. The PET scanner detects the radiation emitted, and the computer generates three-dimensional images of tissue function or cell activity in the tissues of your body.
PET/CT is mainly used for diagnosis, staging or restaging malignant disease and metastases and evaluation of how your body is responding to treatment. It is also sometimes used to differentiate between dementia and Alzheimer's disease. When the two scans are combined, they can to provide an accurate picture of the cancer’s location, as well as the metabolic activity within cancer cells.
For additional information visit www.radiologyinfo.org