PET CT scan

What is a PET CT scan?

A PET CT scan is a powerful scan that takes pictures of your entire body to help diagnose and stage cancer. The CT scan takes a series of images of the whole body and converts them into a 3 D shape for better understanding of the body's internal organs. The PET scan uses low-dose radiation to assess the activity of the cells. The combination of a PET scan and CT scan is called a PET CT scan. Cancers cells have much higher activity than the normal cells and hence show up better on the PET CT scan.

Why am I undergoing PET CT scan?

You may be asked to undergo a PET CT scan because your doctor might suspect cancer.

If cancer is diagnosed, then PET CT scan will help identify the extent of cancer and whether cancer has reached to any other parts of the body as the treatment may change significantly depending upon the spread of cancer and the organs involved.

PET CT scan is also done to plan radiotherapy treatments accurately.

PET CT scan can be used to assess response to treatment and to see if the treatment is working well or not.

Planning your PET CT scan:

Please, it is essential to contact us and book your appointment. PET CT scan cannot be done on the spot as a walk-in, and hence prior appointment must be taken. Please inform the department if you have diabetes, have kidney disease or are pregnant. If you have diabetes, please do not take any anti-diabetic medicines on the day of your scan.

It is desirable to wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothes and comfortable footwear. Please do not wear any metal buttons, clips or zips. Please do not wear any jewellery.

It is essential to come for the scan with a relative or friend and not to come alone.

Please bring all your old report and specifically films and CDs or all previous scans with you and the current PET CT scan may need to be compared with your earlier scan for accurate reporting.

You will be required to be fasting for at least 6 hours before your PET CT scan appointment. If you have diabetes, please talk to your doctor as your blood sugar needs to be under control before your PET CT scan. The RBS should be less than 150 mg/dl after 6 hours of fasting for you to undergo the PET CT scan.

Doing the PET CT scan:

The PET CT scan is not painful. You will first be given an injection containing low dose radioactive glucose in one of your veins. After the injection, you will be requested to rest in a dark room for about 45 to 60 minutes. You will need to lie down on the bed of the scanner, and multiple X-Rays will be taken by the scanner of your body over the next 30 minutes or so. You will most likely be alone in the room, but the radiographers will be watching you from outside. Once the scan is completed satisfactorily, you will be asked to leave the room. Occasionally, you may be called back again for taking more images or for doing a delayed scan depending upon your requirements.

After the PET CT scan:

After the scan is completed and given, okay, you can go home. Please drink plenty of water and liquids throughout the day. The report is generally ready by the same day evening or the next day morning after which you can meet your doctor with the results. If the results are urgent, then your doctor can get the results by directly speaking to the department.