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PET Scan Basics in San Antonio, TX

The human body is extraordinarily complex. Thanks to modern technology, medical professionals are able to understand a great deal about how the body works. Moreover, advanced imaging equipment can identify abnormal cell growth inside an individual's body, aiding with the diagnosis of cancer. A positron emission tomography (PET) scan allows technicians and physicians to pinpoint cancer within the body, providing valuable information for treatment. If you’re interested in PET, contact the San Antonio medical imaging team at Concord Imaging.

PET Scan Basics

Though many have heard of PET scans, relatively few people understand what this imaging procedure actually is or does. Here's a quick look at what a PET scan is and when it's necessary.

  • Basic Function: Before a PET scan, a technologist injects the patient with radioactive glucose. Then, the radiologist observes how the glucose interacts with the body. Since active tumors absorb glucose fairly quickly, a doctor can use this technique to identify cancer fairly easily.
  • What to Expect: A PET scan is a completely painless procedure that usually takes about 30 minutes. The total time for the injection, distribution time and imaging is about two hours. Your technologist may ask you to dress in loose-fitting clothing and refrain from eating for a few hours before your PET scan.
  • Combination with CT Scans: Though a PET scan provides detailed information about certain conditions, it's most effective when performed in tandem with a CT scan. A PET scan can help locate cancer growth, and a CT scan can provide more information about the precise location and size of a cancerous tumor.

PET Uses

Could you benefit from undergoing a PET scan? Here are two of the most common reasons why a radiologist might recommend a scan.

  • Staging Cancer: As discussed above, a PET scan is a valuable tool when it comes to determining the extent and possible spread of cancer. Doctors incorporate the data from PET scans when developing treatment strategies.
  • Early Detection of Alzheimer's: There's a noticeable change in the brain's chemistry during the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. A PET scan can detect these changes, giving patients a head start on Alzheimer's treatment. Though there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s, early intervention can help slow development.

PET is a relatively new imaging procedure that has greatly improved the way doctors diagnose and treat cancer. If you're curious about PET scans, contact the San Antonio staff at Concord Imagining. You can call (210) 572-2222 for more information.

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