What is a PET Scan?
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a noninvasive procedure that can locate abnormal biochemistry or disease.
In cancer, changes in biochemistry occur before a tumor mass forms. As a result, PET can often identify the presence of disease earlier than a traditional test, which looks for a tumor.
Early detection of disease
Precise staging & localization of disease progression
Accurate monitoring of the effects of therapy
How Does a PET Scan Work?
Cancer cells grow at a very fast rate.
Growing cells use glucose as a primary source of energy. The faster cells grow, the more glucose is consumed.
A form of glucose called FDG, which emits particles called positrons, is injected before a PET scan is done.
PET and FDG are used to produce a map of where glucose is being consumed in the body.
A PET scanner detects where positrons are being emitted.
Our physicians interpret the map (image). Areas which demonstrate high use of glucose help to determine the presence of cancer.
Preparing for Your PET Scan
For six hours before your test, do not eat or drink, except water.
Continue to take any medications prescribed by your physician.
If you have diabetes, discuss this with your doctor and call the center staff 48 hours before your scan.
If you are, or think you may be pregnant, discuss this with your physician. Generally, PET is not performed on pregnant women.
What to Bring and Wear
Wear warm, comfortable clothes, as the scanner room is cool.
Please arrive 15-30 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
Bring films or digital images of any previous X-Ray, CT or MR scans.
Bring your insurance card with you.
If you must cancel or reschedule, please do so at least 24 hours before your appointment.
Your PET Scan
After registering, you will go to a preparation area where a PET Technologist will insert a small IV into your arm.
A small amount of FDG, a form of glucose, will be injected through the IV. This is painless.
You will rest 30-60 minutes while the FDG circulates.
Your scan will take about an hour.
After Your Scan
You can leave immediately.
Your activity will not be restricted. You may drive if you wish, resume your normal diet, exercise and take all prescribed medications.
The PET scan will be reviewed by a physician who will send a report to your doctor.
Your doctor will contact you about the
results of your PET scan.