HEALTH

PET/ CT scan: The Best Tool for Cancer Diagnosis Unused

A PET (positron-emission tomography) CT scan is an imaging test that combines both a PET scan and a CT scan performed for the diagnosis of a variety of problems such as seizures, infection, inflammation, neurological issues, tumors, etc. The PET CT scan uses a sugar-based radioactive tracer administered via an IV line to get a clear picture of the body’s organs. It also images the cells that are utilising the sugar in areas where issues such as infection, inflammation, and growing tumours exist.

In simple words, you can say that this imaging scan uses a radioactive tracer and computer system to image the metabolism and body functions. It helps in detecting the issues at the cellular level and identifying the initial symptoms of the disease. This scan made it possible to track the location of the tumor, its spread, and the efficiency of the treatment in effective ways.

Thanks to the possibility of accurately detecting the location, growth, and spread of cancer, it’s widely used in measuring the efficiency, size of the tumor, and response of the treatment. It made it easier for doctors to determine whether and how cancer had spread, as well as whether or not to change the treatment. The main reason behind that is that it can identify the exact location of both the metastases and the small tumour at an early stage.

What is a PET CT scan?

As the name implies, PET-CT is an advanced imaging technique. It is a fusion of two different diagnostic methods, such as a PET scan and a CT scan. Both the positron emission tomography (PET) scan and computerised tomography (CT) scan have their own advantages. Even though both diagnostic methods provide different results, they are still used in combination to detect life-threatening problems like cancer in the most effective manner. These combined diagnostic techniques provide clearer and more detailed images of the problem than a PET scan or CT scan alone.

Positron emission tomography (PET):- This is an advanced diagnostic methodology that uses a radioactive substance (a tracer) injected into the body. The distribution of the radioactive tracer in the body completely depends on the interaction of the tissues with the radioactive tracer. The active tissues, which interacted with the tracer, are precisely detected by the camera and help in the imaging of the entire body area.

Therefore, to diagnose the tumour effectively in a single image, PET-CT is used because alone, neither a PET scan nor a CT scan can accurately locate a tumor, its movement, development, or growth.

Why do I need a PET/CT scan for cancer?

A PET CT scan is used for the cancer problem for various reasons, such as:

  • Detect cancer, its location, size, and stage.
  • Determine whether the cancer has spread and where it has spread.
  • Distinguish cancerous cells from non-cancerous cells.
  • Selection of the most effective cancer treatment therapy
  • Determine how the treatment works.
  • When a CT scan result shows the existence of cancer even after successful treatment. This scanning procedure is used to confirm whether there are any active cancer cells or not.

Types of cancer can be detected with a PET/CT scan.

PET/CT scanning is an excellent diagnostic method for successfully detecting the cancers listed below.

  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer 
  • Cervical cancer 
  • Ovarian cancer 
  • Throat cancer
  • Esophagus cancer
  • Brain Tumor
  • Colon cancer 
  • Pancreatic cancer 
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Thyroid gland cancer
  • Cancer of the bladder, etc.

How does the PET/CT scan work?

There are various imaging methods used not only to detect the tumours but also to monitor the response to the treatment, such as blood tests, CT and MRI scans, mammography, tumour markers, biopsies, and many more. PET/CT scanning is considered the best methodology to detect cancer.

The main reason oncologists recommend the PET/CT scan is to detect all kinds of cancer cells and observe their development and growth. Apart from this, this diagnostic methodology is used when metastases are found in the body.

If we talk about the workings of a PET CT scan, here is a step-by-step guide to the procedure of this scan.

The PET-CT scan is anticipated by the injection given to the patient. The technologist administers the radioactive material (a radioactive fluoride and glucose mixture).

Once the injection is given to the patient, the active cancer cells will absorb the glucose and be visible to the scanner because, in the injection, radioactive fluoride is attached to the glucose.

What are the advantages of a PET/CT scan?

The combined methodology of the PET-CT scan helps in getting the combined images obtained by both the PET and CT scans separately. It provides effective results compared to the results produced by a PET or CT scan performed alone.

  • It identifies the formation of all types of cancer, despite the size of the cancer.
  • Compared to other diagnostic methodologies, it takes less time and helps the doctor decide on the treatment without any delay.
  • Compared to other imaging scans, this scan uses radioactive material, which doesn’t pose any kind of high degree of risk.
  • The radioactive material is used in less quantity and doesn’t rely on the body for more than 24 hours. It automatically flushes out of the body.

What side effects does the PET/CT scan cause?

Although the PET CT scan uses a small quantity of radioactive material, some people experience an allergic reaction to the contrast substance. This usually happens to individuals who are allergic to iodine or aspartame. It is always advisable for an individual to inform the doctor or technologist before the scan if they have a history of allergic reactions and have an iodine allergy. So, an alternative radioactive substance can be used to perform the PET CT scan to prevent the occurrence of allergic reaction risks.

A PET CT scan is not recommended for pregnant women or women who are expecting to become pregnant due to the harmful effects of radiation on the fetus.

The PET CT scan involves the contrast material, so it is advisable for the breastfeeding female to take the breast milk out using the pump before the scanning procedure because, for 24 hours after the scanning procedure, they won’t be able to feed the child.

How much time does a PET CT scan take?

The scanning process in the PET CT scan test takes around 15–20 minutes. But the process involves the use of radioactive material. So, the radioactive substance takes 60 minutes to absorb. The entire process takes around 90 minutes to 2 hours.

What is the cost of a PET/CT scan for cancer?

Most of the time, the average PET CT Scan Price for cancer in different PET CT scan diagnostic centres is between INR 23,000 and INR 30,000. However, the cost may differ in the different diagnostic centres in different cities based on the location and technology used. You can know the exact cost by contacting any PET/CT scan diagnostic centre near you.

Conclusion

A PET/CT scan is a highly crucial diagnostic tool for cancer-related information because of its incomparable abilities. Compared to other diagnostic procedures, it provides cancer-related information in a more detailed and clear manner. It helps improve diagnostic accuracy by providing precise details about the localization of the tumor. The major advantages of this positron emission tomography and computed tomography scan (PET CT scan) are that it identifies the inflammatory lesion, confirms the abnormal cells, identifies the location of the tumor, and even measures its size before it appears in other scanning methodologies. Due to its advantages, oncologists recommend this scan over other imaging procedures for quick treatment decisions to save lives.

Syed Qasim

Syed Qasim ( CEO IQ Newswire ) Is a highly experienced SEO expert with over three years of experience. He is working as a contributor on many reputable blog sites, including MoralStory.org, NyBreaking.com, Stephilareine.com, Theinscribermag.com