I have already had several scans why do I need a PET/CT scan?
You may have already had an x-ray or a CT scan or an MRI scan or a combination of these scans. All of these types of scans look at the structure of your body. PET/CT is different. It looks at how parts of the body are functioning. Your doctor needs this information to plan your treatment.
I have already had a PET/CT scan, why do I need another?
For cancer, it is common to have several PET/CT scans throughout the course of treatment PET/CT. As you are being treated, parts of your body will change and PET/CT is the best way to measure the changes.
How long will the scan take?
You should plan on being at the imaging center for about 2 hours. You will spend most of that time sitting in a comfortable chair. Only about 30 minutes of that time will be in the scanner.
What If I Am Claustrophobic?
The PET/CT scanner is a tube that is about 2.5 feet wide and 5 feet long. You will be able to see outside of the tube during most of the procedure. It is much less confining than an MRI. It is also very quiet and comfortable. Most claustrophobic patients have no difficulty with the procedure. However, if you are severely claustrophobic, you might ask your doctor to consider a mild sedative.
Is PET/CT dangerous?
PET/CT does use radiation. The risk associated with this amount of radiation is almost too small to measure. Choosing to not have a PET/CT scan when you need one involves much much more risk because without the PET/CT scan your doctor might not have enough information to choose the right treatment for you.
Will I be radioactive?
Because we use a radioactive tracer, you will be slightly radioactive for the next 24 hours after your scan. After 24 hours all the radioactivity will be gone. Once you leave the imaging center, you may resume all normal activities including holding children. You probably should avoid air travel during those 24 hours because the radiation sensors at airports are extremely sensitive and you may set off alarms.
When Will I Know The Results Of My Examination?
Your results will be sent to your physician within one business day. Your physician will then discuss the results with you.