PET scan is the shortened form of Positron Emission Tomography. PET scans reveal the biochemical and metabolic functions of your organs and tissues. Other imaging methods like CT scans or MRI scans show physical changes in the body. However, PET scans reveal changes in the body’s physiological system. PET scans are frequently utilized in the medical sector to assess brain function, detect heart problems, detect cancer, determine blood flow through the heart, and determine the extent of cancer and the response to medications.
PET Scans can Detect cancer, but How do They Work?
It is a method of analyzing a dye made up of sugar attached to a radioactive isotope. Specific tissues and organs take in the tracer. Cancer cells “take up” the sugar and the attached isotope, which releases positively charged low-energy radiation (positrons). Positrons can react with the electrons inside cancerous cells, which trigger the production of gamma-rays. Gamma rays are identified through PET machines. PET scan test for cancer devices, and it converts the information into a photograph. If no gamma radiations are found in the scan area, there is no good chance that the site involved has cancerous cells.
Why You Might Have a PET scan?
- Show up a cancer
2. Analyze its size and whether it has spread
3. How to determine whether a lump is cancerous or not
4. Decide the best treatment for your cancer
5. Show how well a treatment is working
A CT scan might reveal some evidence of the tumor that remains if you’ve had cancer treatment. A PET scan can indicate whether the area is, in fact, cancerous or not.
Procedures Before PET scan
- For most PET scans, you will need to eat a light meal for four to six hours before the scan. You should drink plain water at this point.
2. You may be given instructions not to engage in any strenuous exercises for a period of twelve and 24-hours before the scan. Need to modify your diet or sugar management and alter the time of your appointment. Make an appointment at a pet scan center in Coimbatore
3. Certain people experience a feeling of claustrophobia when they’re taking scans. Talk to the staff before the test if you’re likely to share this. They’ll be extra careful to ensure you’re at ease and aware of what’s happening. The doctor may provide you with medication to ease your mind should you require it.
Procedures to Follow Before PET Scan
1. You must remove all jewelry and other objects made of metal like hair clips, belts, and coins. Metal can interfere with images generated by the scanner.
2. There is an injection of a radiotracer around an hour before the scan. The injection takes place via a small plastic tube within the arm (cannula). It’s a tiny dose of radiation.
3. It is important to take a break and stay away from moving for too long during this time. This allows the radiotracer to be absorbed into the body and eventually into the tissues.
4. It is sugar that has radioactivity. A commonly used tracer in PET scans is called FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose). Cancer cells are extremely active as they grow and reproduce in a particular area. They require energy to expand. Therefore active cancer cells soak FDG, which appears more prominent in the scan.
Procedures to Follow in Scan Center
- Your radiographer leads you into the scanner center. It is a PET machine that is huge and is shaped like “O.” The majority of your scans are sitting on the couch machine lying on your back.
2. Once you’re in the correct location, the radiographer exits the room. They will be able to see you on a television monitor or in a glass window from inside the control rooms. It is possible to talk to one another via an intercom. For this procedure, you should contact one of the best hospitals in Coimbatore that provides PET scans.
Processing the PET scan
- The settee is slowly moving across the scanner. The machine captures images while you move around it. The scan isn’t painful; however, it can be uncomfortable as you must remain still.
2. It’s not very noisy; however, you’ll be hearing a continuous background sound. Once the time is up, the radiographer will walk to the room again and lower the settee until you get up.
After having your PET scan
- After you have had your PET scan, you will be able to see your radiographer take the cannula in your arm before going home.
2. Then, you can take a normal meal and drink. The radiation from the tracer’s radioactive element is low. Consuming plenty of fluids following the scan can help eliminate the tracer from your body.
3. The tracer emits extremely low levels of radiation, which disappear rapidly. To protect yourself, it is recommended to avoid direct contact with newborns, pregnant women, and small children for six hours following the scan.
4. There is a need for someone to drive your home and stay for the night if you’ve been prescribed medication to aid in relaxation (sedative). For the next 24 hours, it is also advised not to drive, consume alcohol, operate heavy machinery, and sign any legally binding documents.