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LUBBOCK IMAGING CENTER

WHAT IS PET?

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is a powerful diagnostic tool that, in many cases, renders answers that other imaging tests may not provide. This non-invasive procedure helps physicians with their diagnosis and treatment of some types of cancer, heart disease, and diseases associated with the brain. Biochemical changes are detected by a PET scan after a compound that contains radioactive molecules, bound to a sugar-like substance, is injected into the body. These molecules provide the tracers that allow the measurement of metabolic activity within the body. A computer records this information, and converts it into pictures for diagnostic purposes.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PET FOR PATIENTS?

  • Detailed diagnostic information not available from other tests like CT and MR
  • Shorter time for definitive diagnosis
  • Enhanced ability to detect disease with fewer invasive diagnostic procedures
  • Improved staging of the disease and better monitoring of cancer recurrences
  • More effective tracking of the results of treatment therapy
  • Less extensive surgeries and avoidance of some surgeries
  • Lower overall cost of care

WHY ARE PET AND CT USED TOGETHER?

PET/CT represents the next level of diagnostic imaging power for oncology. PET detects metabolic signals in the body while CT provides a detailed picture of the internal anatomy, revealing the location, size, and shape of cellular activity.

Alone, each imaging test is effective for a wide variety of applications. But when the results of PET and CT scans are "fused" together, the combined image provides complete information on cancer location and metabolism.

For more specific information about PET/CT and what to expect if you are scheduled for an exam, please download the following brochures:

PET/CT PATIENT INFORMATION GUIDE

 

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