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What is PETSCAN

What is PET-CT scan: PET-CT scan which stands for Positron emission tomography?computed tomography is a nuclear medicine technique which uses two scanners namely positron emission tomography (PET) scanner and an x-ray computed tomography (CT) scanner. The purpose of using two scanners is to acquire sequential images from both devices in the same session, which are combined into a single superposed image. Types of PET-CT scan: PET f-18 FDG scan : A glucose scan sometimes done immediately after the PET scan to determine if heart muscle has permanent damage. Cardiac PET scan: A cardiac PET or SPECT scan is a type of cardiac molecular imaging that involves the injection of a radioactive label or tracer to circulate to the heart. PET/CT scan : A PET/CT scan is a hybrid of imaging technology that combines PET and CT scans, allowing for a more accurate diagnosis. Why it is done: The primary purpose of doing a PET-CT scan is to diagnose cancer. It is also used to find out how big a cancer is and whether it has spread .i.e stage of cancer. It is used to decide whether you patient have surgery to remove his/her cancer It helps doctor decide which is the best treatment for cancer for the patient It also let your doctor check whether patient's cancer has come back It also let the doctor examine the effectiveness of the current treatment.

What is the difference between PET-CT Scan and CT Scan?
A CT Scan is used by the doctor to get detailed pictures of tissues and organs inside a person?s body. Whereas, a PET Scan can be used to find out abnormal activities inside the body and is more sensitive than other imaging tests that are available. Showing changes happening inside the body sooner than any other test is the main advantage of PET scan. PET-CT Scan is used by doctors to get detailed information about the cancer.
Along with providing detailed information about cancer, PET-CT scan can also be used by a doctor for :
a. Planning radiation therapy.
b. Finding the right place for a biopsy.
c. Checking for new cancer growth after treatment has ended.
d. Learning if cancer treatment is working.
Procedure of performing PET-CT Scan :
PET CT scanner uses a scanning device which is basically a machine with a hole at its center. This scanning device detects the photons emitted by the tissue(containing radionuclide) which is being examined. Radionuclide is made by combining a radioactive atom to chemical substances. These chemical substances are used by a tissue naturally doing its metabolic process.
The person who has to undergo PET-CT scan is given an injection of a small amount of fluorodeoxyglucose-18 ( Radioactive Sugar) . FDG-18, tracer or radioactive glucose are some other names for fluorodeoxyglucose-18. Cells of a human body absorb sugar. More sugar is absorbed by areas in the body which have more energy. Since cancer cells use more energy than healthy cells, absorption is more in them. A PET scan displays the area of the body where a radioactive tracer is present.
X-Rays of the body are then taken from different angles by CT scanner. A contrast material(known as dye) may also be used to get better detailing. Finally PET and CT images are combined by a computer and 3-D results are produced. Doctor then uses these 3-D results to see the presence of any abnormalities in the body including tumors.

Importance of a PET scan
PET scans are useful in detecting the abnormalities happening inside an area of a body where some chemical activity might be happening. Detection of Brain disorders, heart diseases and cancer effectively are the main advantages of this scan.
1. Brain disorders :PET scan can reveal any abnormality in different parts of the brain which are responsible for performing majority of the activities.
Following are the main brain abnormalities that can be detected by PET scan:
a. Tumors
b. Seizures
c. Memory disorders
2. Cancer:Due to high metabolism rate of cancer cells, bright spots around them can be spotted by PET scan. Following are the conditions that can be detected:
a. The spread and extent of some cancers
b. The response of the cancer to the treatment
c. Whether the cancer has recurred
PET scans should be carefully analyzed in order to avoid considering non-cancerous cells as cancer cells.
Following cancers can be detected using PET scan :
a. Lymphoma
b. Thyroid
c. Brain disorders
d. Lung
e. Esophageal
f. Cervical disorders
g. Melanoma
h. Colon
i. Breast
j. Pancreatic

Are PET-CT scans risk-free ?
Though PET scans have more benefits than risks, following risk can?t be ruled out:
A PET-CT scan uses some radiations from X-Rays, the substance used in the PET scan or a combination of both of them. If small area of body has to be scanned, small amounts of radiations will be used. PET scans carry a small potential increased risk of cancer in cases where someone needs multiple PET scans or when the scan is being performed on children.
Who performs a PET-CT scan?
The scan is done by a specialized technician who is well versed in doing these kinds of scans. A person who is a radiologist or nuclear medicine specialist will look at the test results produced by PET-CT Scan. He will interpret the meaning of the test.
Things to be taken care of before undergoing PET-CT scan:
Following are the things that should be done before going for scan:
Based on the area of your body being scanned, you may need to stop drinking and eating at least 4 hours before undergoing a scan. However, some scans don't require a person to stop eating or drinking.
You should let the doctor know about your medical condition before going for a scan. If somebody has diabetes, radioactive tracer can impact his/her blood sugar and even the test results may get altered. Details about pregnancy or breastfeeding should also be provided to the doctor to avoid putting the baby at risk.
Exercises like running, jogging or weightlifting should be avoided 24 hours before undergoing scan.
Doctor should be aware about any allergies specifically to Iodine that a person have currently or had in the past.
Loose and comfortable clothes should be worn which are free from metal zippers or buttons. Any jewelry or metal object shouldn?t be present on your body while scanned.
Cost of a PET-CT scan
PET-CT scans are very efficient for detection of cancer. Cost of PET-CT scan can vary from Rs. 11000 to 23000 based on the hospital in which a person has opt to go. The cost of PET scan is determined by radioactive material used in it. LabUncle Provides Cheapest WHOLE BODY PET CT SCAN at only 11200rs. in Delhi-NCR and PAN INDIA.

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