PET Scans: Unveiling Cellular Activity

PET scans utilize a special type of imaging technique called nuclear medicine. PET scans play a vital role in diagnosing and staging various cancers. During a PET scan, a small amount of radioactive sugar is injected into your bloodstream. Cancer cells are known to be more active than healthy cells, and as a result, they absorb more of this sugar. The PET scanner then detects the radiation emitted by the sugar, creating a picture of areas with high metabolic activity. This can help doctors identify the presence and location of cancer even before anatomical changes become visible.

Combining Function and Form: PET/CT Scans

While PET scans reveal how active your cells are, they don't pinpoint the exact location of these active areas. This is where the CT scan comes in.  A PET/CT scan combines a PET scan with a computerized tomography (CT) scan. A CT scan uses X-rays to capture detailed anatomical images of your body. By combining the functional information from the PET scan with the anatomical detail from the CT scan, doctors get a clearer picture of where the abnormal cellular activity is happening in your body. This allows for a more precise diagnosis and helps determine the best course of treatment.

Early Detection and Treatment Planning

The ability of PET scans to detect changes in cellular activity at an early stage makes them a valuable tool for cancer diagnosis. By identifying cancer cells before they cause major anatomical changes, PET scans can aid in early detection, determining how much cancer is within the body (tumor size) and if it has spread (staging), and treatment planning.

Why Have Your PET/CT Scan Performed at CIS?

Having the procedure done in a hospital as an inpatient costs far more than having the same procedure done in an outpatient center such as CIS. Since inpatient facilities tend to cost more to run, patients end up paying more for care. According to a study by New Choice Health, going to an independent facility like CIS instead of a hospital can save you thousands of dollars — $2,550 versus $7,275.

How much does a PET/CT cost? We’ve made it convenient to receive an estimate from a Capitol Imaging Services affiliate. Click here to access our price estimate tool. With your information, we will produce a good faith estimate of any fees that would be your obligation to pay as a result of your exam. Contact us today to schedule your PET scan, and to learn why Capitol Imaging Services is doctor trusted and patient preferred.