what is a pet scan

azgrandma Member Posts: 609 Member
edited March 2014 in Ovarian Cancer #1
never heard of it
does it hurt? is it like mri or cat


  • Cindy Bear
    Cindy Bear Member Posts: 569
    Pet scan
    Hello. I never had one but my mother did. Here's a little more info that I hope will help you. It does not hurt. Basically they inject a radioative glucose solution into you and then take readings of you. If any hot spots light up that means they are taking up more of the solution. The SUV = standard uptake volume is what measure the uptake and anything over 2.7 is deemed malignancy the theory being that cancerous cells are more active and will take in more of the solution and hence light up more. My mother's gyn/oncologist likened it to a geiger counter.
    I hope this info helps you.

    A PET scan is performed by injecting a small amount of radioactive chemical into a vein. As the chemical travels through the body, it is absorbed by the organs and tissues. During the test, a scanner records the energy produced by the cells. A computer converts the recording into three-dimensional pictures of an area of the body and any cells that are changing show up at a brighter contrast to any surrounding, normal cells.

    There is very little preparation involved prior to a PET scan and they are most often done on an outpatient basis. In general, most patients are simply given restrictions on food or drink for 6 to 12 hours prior to the test. Heart patients, diabetics, and other specific patients may be given a specific set of directions depending on the purpose of the PET scan. The test takes approximately 2 hours to complete.

    PET scan technology is widely used in oncology as it helps to stage and detect certain types of cancer including breast cancer, lymphoma, and certain types of lung cancer. PET scan technology is also widely used in medical research.