PET scans can detect cancerous tumor cells and can also be used to determine the extent of a patient’s cancer. The scans can help an medicul decide on the right course of treatment for a patient, as well as adjust their plans if necessary. Unlike CT scans and MRIs, which use radio waves and X-rays to produce images, PET scans create still images of organs and structures. In this article, we will explore the benefits and risks associated with a PET scan.
A PET scan involves the use of a radioactive tracer that is not detected by X-rays
This radioactive tracer is absorbed by the body and passes out of the body naturally. Patients should drink plenty of water after the PET scan to flush out the tracer. After the test, the radiologist will interpret the images. He or she may perform additional tests to confirm the results of the PET scan. The Mayo Clinic offers a wide range of other tests, including the PET scan.
While you should avoid eating or drinking anything four to six hours before the PET scan, you should drink plenty of water.
However, avoid consuming anything with caffeine or chocolate
If you are diabetic, you should consult with your physician for special instructions. The PET scan may require you to stop drinking caffeine and other stimulants a day before the PET scan. In addition, you should avoid strenuous activity for 12 to 24 hours. If you have diabetes, it is important to call the office ahead of time to discuss any food or dietary changes that may affect your ability to undergo the PET scan.
The PET scan is noninvasive and uses a small amount of a radioactive tracer that is given through a vein. The tracer travels through the blood and gathers in areas with high metabolic activity. This helps the doctor pinpoint the exact location of disease.
PET images are usually combined with CT and MRI scans
PET scans are an excellent way to identify a variety of conditions, including cancer and heart disease. They can also help monitor the progress of a disease or monitor its progression.
PET scanners are noninvasive, and are a great way to determine the structure and function of various organs in the body. PET scans are quick and painless, and most patients can return to work and daily activities immediately afterward. Patients should drink plenty of water following the PET scan to eliminate any remaining tracer in their bodies. The results of a PET scan are sent to the referring physician and may help them make the right treatment decisions.
Before undergoing a PET scan
You should let the radiologist and the exam technologist know about any medications you may be taking. You should also disclose any recent illnesses or medical conditions. Your doctor will provide special instructions based on your medical history. Diabetics should inform their doctors if they are on insulin or taking blood thinners before the PET scan. Also, women who are pregnant or nursing should inform the radiologist if they are planning to breastfeed.