PET is a diagnosis to detect various diseases. The test is conducted using special dyes containing radioactive tracers. The dye is injected into the bloodstream and is absorbed by the organs and tissues and then the patient is sent under the PET scanner. The radiographer will check if the organs and tissues are functioning properly. The PET scan center in Chennai works in close coordination with doctors to check for tumours or diseases like cancer and devise a suitable treatment plan. It is an outpatient procedure and can be completed within an hour depending on the complications in the body.
Also Read : The Process Of PET Scan Procedure Explained
PET scan is done to diagnose a number of diseases and disorders in the body. This includes
- Nervous disorders
- Brain malfunctioning
- Heart problems
- Brain tumour
- Memory disorders
- Coronary artery diseases
- Lung cancer
PET scan is normally taken after the patient receives X rays and CT scan. It is imaging that shows the skeleton, organs and functions of cells. The radiotracer eats up all the radiotracers and provides all the information to the radiologists about diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. After seeing X rays, CT scan and biopsy, the doctor may ask for PET scan to confirm the suspicion. It also assists physicians in exploring possibilities for surgery.
Your doctor can recommend PET CT Scan based on your medical history. It is helpful in revealing three main clinical classifications:
- Oncology: It includes detecting the presence of cancerous cells, determining whether it is benign or malignant, stage of cancer and recurrence of cancer.
- Neurology: It detects seizure disorders and Alzheimer disease assessment
- Cardiology: It helps in assessing the functions of the heart and determine the variability of the tissues to undergo bypass surgery
- Blood flow assessment
Merits of PET Scan
- PET is the most precise tool to determine the presence of cancer cells and its spread to other parts of the body. The possibilities of destroying the cells and other treatment options are explored based on the results of the test.
- The test detects even the smallest of cancer cells and the spread of lymphatic nodes. Whether the treatment can stop with non-invasive alternative or surgical procedures like mediastinoscopy is decided based on the severity of the disease.
- PET Scan is used to determine the lymph nodes with cancer cells. The lung tumours at first are evaluated through chest X ray or CT scan, for more accurate diagnosis PET scan is the ultimate choice. It helps to identify if the lung mass is cancerous and at times can save a person from undergoing surgical biopsy.
- There is a relation between the FDG radiotracer absorbed by the patient and the chances of survival. Those who absorb less FDG stand a better chance of survival.
- The images from the PET scan can tell the difference between benign and malignant tumours. It can also locate tumours as small as one centimeter.
- Early detection means quick intervention. The scan shows all the metabolic changes that happen in the structure that is not revealed in other traditional medical imaging tests like CT, MRI or X Ray.
- The scan is highly useful for regular follow-ups to help the doctor monitor the tumour and its effectiveness.
How PET/CT scan assess cancer?
PET is effective in diagnosing cancer and locating the presence of cancer cells. The scan can differentiate between benign and malignant cancer tissues. It also helps to find out if the cancer will recur in the future. In the reports, the doctor looks for tissue metabolism information to prepare a treatment plan. Using the reports, the doctor will recommend chemotherapy or surgery. After taking chemotherapy, the doctor uses PET scan to find out the occurrence of new symptoms that can lead to recurring of the disease. A scan is suggested to check for changes in other tissues as a result of radiation treatment. The tests are accurate and assist physicians in determining if the treatment path is right.
PET Scan assesses neurological activities and is used to determine conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and seizures. The scan is used to assess cancers of the brain and recurrence of cancer after radiotherapy.
PET scan also assesses a heart attack or those with advanced coronary artery condition. They help to determine if the living tissues can survive a bypass surgery.
The future of PET scan
Researchers are constantly studying the subject and advancement is made in the genetic and molecular mechanisms relating to development of cancer in the lungs. Some of the areas of study include novel reporter-gene imaging systems that involve engineering genes adhering to specific cells that can be traced using molecular imaging technologies. The scientists are working on the biological pathways and image molecular markers to deliver insight on the progress of the cancer in the lungs and how a patient is responding to the treatment.