PET CT scan is a combination of positron emission tomography and computed tomography that helps to detect cancerous cells in the body.
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PET CT Scan Cost in Mumbai and Lab Details
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What is a PET Scan?
PET scan or positron emission tomography scan is a technology introduced in the year 2000. This technology is used primarily for the detection and monitoring of cancer while there are diagnostic uses for other diseases related to the heart and brain as well.
PET scan combines the two areas of radiology and nuclear medicine to give very detailed images of tissues and cells in the body. PET CT Scan can give images at the cellular level which other radiology tests like CT Scan or MRI cannot do. Hence, full body PET Scans are increasingly used to screen and monitor cancer, brain PET Scan for analyzing reasons for seizures and memory loss, and cardiac PET Scan for problems related to heart arteries. Whole-body PET Scan helps your doctor to diagnose the areas of cancer, how cancer is spreading and how cancer is responding to chemotherapy.
Why is a PET CT Scan prescribed?
A PET CT scan may be prescribed for any of the following reasons:
- Cancer: PET scan finds if the tumor is cancerous or non-cancerous.
- Alzheimer’s disease: PET scan shows the pace at which the cells take the glucose from the radiotracer. Measuring this will help in identifying the affected brain cells.
- Epilepsy: The most accurate form of treatment can be derived when the PET scan shows the exact parts of the brain that are affected.
- Heart disease: This scan reveals the scarred or damaged parts of the heart and also any problems in the functioning of the heart.
You should fast for a few hours before the scan. The lab where you plan the test will tell you about this requirement. Once you reach the lab, you will be required to take in a radioactive tracer in your body.
Before the scan:
You will be asked to lie on a table in a horizontal position which will slide into the PET CT machine. Some people find this difficult because they are afraid of closed spaces. You should tell the lab beforehand. A tranquilizer may be given before the test.
During the scan:
An X-ray tube will rotate taking multiple pictures of your internal organ. It is important to stay still throughout the process. It detects the area where the radio-tracer is accumulated in the large amount and where there is a high level of chemical activity.
After the scan:
The data collected will be sent to the computer operated by the radiologist. The computer will process the data and produces a detailed image of the examined area. The radiologist monitors the whole process from a different room using the speakers and microphone.
A radioactive substance is injected into the body as a PET CT scan is a nuclear medicine test. While any level of radiation may be harmful, most researchers believe that the level of radiation one is subjected to during a PET Scan is so low, that it has almost no impact on you.
However, pregnant and breastfeeding women may not be allowed to have a PET CT Scan. Please discuss this with your doctor and the lab beforehand. Also, if you have had an allergic reaction to the radioactive substance before, let the lab know about it.