PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is a painless diagnostic test that allows radiologists a unique view of your body’s biological functions by looking at your body’s metabolic activity. Almost all diseases alter your body’s biological processes. PET is able to discover these changes in their earliest stages, often before any symptoms appear. It can sometimes eliminate the need for other invasive procedures and, by correctly staging cancers, may prevent unnecessary surgical procedures. It helps in faster initiation of effective treatment plans.
CT scan accurately evaluates anatomy (pinpoint the exact location, size and shape) of the diseased tissue or tumour.
PET CT is a combination of a PET scan and a CT scan obtained at a single instance and by a single piece of equipment. By combining these studies, the identification and accuracy of diagnosing a disease is greatly enhanced. Physicians are able to detect disease earlier, determine the extent of the disease and assess response to and effectiveness of treatments. It eliminates the need for multiple work-up procedures such as site specific CTs, ultrasound, MRI and bone scans.
All human cells consume glucose. But cancer cells require more glucose than healthy cells to grow. PET scan utilizes a radioactive tracer that is similar to glucose called FDG. FDG accumulates within malignant cells due to their high rate of glucose metabolism. When a patient is scanned, the resulting images show the distribution of the radio-labeled glucose throughout the body. Areas of increased metabolism appear as hot spots on the images showing disease presence.