What is PET Scan?
PET (positron emission tomography)
is a powerful imaging technique, available through the INTEGIS Cancer Institution of Oklahoma, that holds great promise in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, particularly cancer. A non-invasive test, PET accurately images the biological function of the human body.
In a single scan, your physician can examine your entire body. PET provides a more complete picture, making it easier for your doctor to diagnose problems, determine the extent of disease, prescribe treatment and track progress.
Why do I need a PET Scan?
PET gives information about the body that is not available with other imaging techniques. Unlike X-rays, CT scans or MRI, which show the body structure, PET reveals biological function, providing your doctor with potentially life-saving insight.
Because changes in metabolism occur before anatomical changes are apparent, PET often reveals illnesses much earlier than conventional diagnostic procedures. This may eliminate the need for ineffective or unnecessary surgeries, treatments or other diagnostic tests. It will often significantly reduce medical costs, patient discomfort and potential complications.
About the Scan
You will receive an intravenous injection of a radioactive tracer and will rest quietly for approximately 45 minutes while the tracer is distributed throughout your body. You will then be asked to lie on a table that passes slowly through the scanner.
It is very important to remain as still as possible during the exam and to breathe normally, unless told otherwise. You may be required to keep your arms above your head during the exam.
The PET scan will take less than 30 minutes as the bed moves slowly through the scanner opening. After your PET scan, the images are interpreted by a trained radiologist. Results are reported to your referring physician usually within 24 hours.
Preparing for your scan
- Do not eat or drink anything except water for six hours before the test.
- Eat a low carbohydrate diet 24 hours before the test.
- Refrain from taking diabetic medications the day of the test. You can bring these with you and take them once the test is complete. Diabetic medications include, but are not limited to, Metformin, Glucophage, Avandament, Metaglip and Insulin.
- Medications, other than diabetic medications, may be taken the day of the test with water.
- Wear comfortable clothing with no metal.
- Notify your physician if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or diabetic.
Common Uses of a PET Scan
- Determine benign from malignant tumors in suspicious areas
- Survey the whole body for cancer that may have spread
- Monitor success of therapy
- Detect recurrent tumors
- Assess tumor aggressiveness
- Determine what heart tissue is still alive following a suspected heart attack
- Predict success of angioplasty (balloon) or bypass surgery
- Identification of regions of abnormal glucose metabolism associated with foci of epileptic seizures
Insist on INTEGRIS
- More than a cancer treatment facility. It’s a cancer treatment philosophy.
- More survivors of more types of cancer than anywhere else in Oklahoma.
- More care, more treatment, more choice. Our proton therapy center was the first in Oklahoma City and the sixth in the nation. We're part of the largest health care system in Oklahoma.