Why Have a PET/CT Scan?
PET/CT technology shows biological activity within organs and can therefore detect cancer in the earliest stages.
- They produce highly detailed images
- They show exactly where the cancer is in your body
- Your surgery will be exact and precise
- Your surgeon will know whether they removed all the cancer
- They do differentiate between healthy tissue, scar tissue, benign tissue, and tumour tissue
- The image shows exactly how aggressive your tumours are
- You know exactly what is cancerous and what is not
- Your treatment plan will be correct from the get-go
- A PET/CT image shows whether your treatment is working
What do PET/CT Scans Detect?
A PET/CT scan uses two technologies in one machine: positron emission tomography and computed tomography. Unlike other imaging tools, a single PET/CT scan can show detailed information on both the structure and function of the body’s cells and tissues.
Significantly, a PET/CT can:
- Differentiate between normal and tumor cells in your body
- Indicate the stage and aggressiveness of your cancer
In other words, the PET/CT shows you exactly where the cancer is in your body and how aggressive it is. Therefore, it can be used to identify primary tumour sites (where the cancer originated). This information is vital in order to create an optimal treatment plan.
How Does a PET/CT Scan Work?
With PET/CT, patients are injected with a radioactive glucose solution (approximately the same amount of radiation that you might experience with a standard X-ray). Since cancer cells utilize glucose for their rapid growth, they quickly uptake a significant amount of the solution and glow when imaged. This allows us to identify the exact size and location of tumours, anywhere in your body.
PET/CT scans are used for many types of cancer and are shown to be more accurate in diagnosing cancer than PET scans alone.
If you’ve already had a CT scan, you might be wondering if it’s really necessary to get a PET/CT scan. The answer is yes! CT scans can produce false negatives or false positives – and you want to make sure you haven’t received either.
CTOAM has seen many clients who’ve been told, based on a CT scan, that they were cancer-free. When they chose to get a private PET/CT scan, the PET/CT identified a tumour that would have otherwise gone untreated. Please see our PET/CT vs CT comparison to learn more.
PET/CT imaging provides you, your oncologist, and your surgeon with information about exactly what’s happening in your body and how best to treat your cancer. And until the use of this technology becomes a part of standard cancer care in Canada, CTOAM is here to ensure that you have access to it.
In addition to detailed imaging (PET/CT), precision oncology uses detailed genetic testing and personalized cancer research to provide your treatment team with the most detailed data possible via medical science – so together you can make the best treatment decisions for an optimal treatment outcome.
If you or a loved one thinks they might have cancer, please consider getting at PET/CT scan as soon as possible. The sooner you know for sure, the sooner you can either relax (and not go through any unnecessary treatment) or the sooner you can get early treatment options. A fast and accurate diagnosis is the best way to create an optimal treatment outcome.
Please reach out today, if you’d like us to make arrangements for a PET/CT scan or have questions.