Pet Scans

denistd Member Posts: 597
edited March 2014 in Head and Neck Cancer #1
I was wondering what was meant by the term "full body pet scan" I was looking at the statement that came from the hospital, it stated "Pet Scan/Cat Scan" full body Sull to thigh. Wondering how much of your body do the scan, is it really from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. The internet tells me it's from about your nose to your thighs. The sull is I think :base of skull. When I had my last pet in September the tech did say to my thighs. Am I interpreting this right or can it actually cover you head to foot?


  • Scambuster
    Scambuster Member Posts: 973
    Eyes to Thighs
    ...From my experience - that's what they do Denis.
  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
    Hi denist
    It is from the knee up to the top of the skull, I guess they figure if all that is in good condition no need to worry about from the keen to the feet. I have most of my PET on disk and that is what I see when I load them. Ask for a copy of the disk when you visit your doc they have to give it to you.

    Take care
  • Bigfuzzydoug
    Bigfuzzydoug Member Posts: 154
    What is a "full body PET/CT"
    First, the difference between PET and CT. With PET, you are injected with a radioactive sugar solution. After an hour, you pee and then go into the machine. "Cancer loves sugar." So malignant cells will soak up higher quantities of the solution. The machine detects the radioactivity and shows it on a body map. The limit of detection is about 5mm. CT is essentially x-rays in which they look for visible masses. Again, the limit of detection is about 5mm.

    "Full body" does in fact mean nose to thighs. Why? Some parts of your body normally soak up sugar and PET is useless to detect cancer in these areas. What areas? The kidneys and bladder light up like crazy because they're busy filtering out the solution. The brain lights up like crazy because I guess your neurons need sugar. For brain cancer they probably have to use MRI. PET is useless for your brain. As for below the thighs... Since you're going for a head and neck issue to begin with, the main concern is the head and neck with a check of the organs in the torso to look for metastisis. Why spend the time and cost to scan your legs?

    Like someone else wrote - you are entitled to get a copy on CD. I always did and burned copies for my various other doctors so they could see them too. It was easier for me to hand them over than hope that they successfully get mailed.