Re: [MOL] Pet Scan [01892] Medicine On Line

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Re: [MOL] Pet Scan

Argila, June wrote:
> Hi Anyone:  I have a question.  I have to set up an appt. for a CT Scan of
> Lung, CT Scan of Abdomen and Xray of ribs.  If I were to have a Pet Scan -
> would that test cover the other three (3) tests?  Anyone?
The PET scan is done by injecting radio-active glucose into 
a vein and waiting for it the collect in the tumors (tumors
like glucose). The radio-active source produces positrons,
which are captured very near the tumor, the positrons produce
gamma rays which leave the body and are collected by a group
of detectors.  Information from the detectors is processed by
a computer to produce an image.  

The PET scan has about a 5 times better resolution than 
CT scans and X-rays, which cannot see tumors less than 
1-cm in size.  Not only does the PET scan see much 
smaller tumors than CT scans, it can cover the whole
body to see metastasis that may be in the bones, brain, or 
whatever.  The PET is very good for staging the disease and 
can be used to follow the progression. It is rather expensive
so works best with another marker, such as a blood antigen test,
if the tumor is too small to see on a CT scan.  

The PET is a functional process while the CT scan is a direct
image process so they work well together if the tumor is big
enough to see on a CT scan.

Hope this helps......Al Larson
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