What is PET-CT Scan
PET-CT Scan is a combination of PET and CT scans. PET scan is basically done using radioactive glucose. Cancer cells are densely located than normal cells, hence consume more of glucose. PET scan uses this to detect points of high glucose usage.
CT Scan, on the other hand gives the skeletal structure of the body. When PET Scan is overlapped with the CT Scan, the radiologists can understand points where cancer might be present. If it looks like it is present in multiple locations, then it could likely be a metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread to multiple locations).
Why is PET-CT used
For deciding a cancer patient’s treatment, it is very important to know if cancer is localized or if it has spread to other locations. That completely changes the modality of treatment. PET-CT scan is used to detect if cancer is spread to other organs or not.
How to Prepare for a PET-CT Scan
Essentials for a PET-CT Scan
Serum Creatinine Test
Make sure you undergo a Serum Creatinine test before the scan to check kidney function. If results are normal, a PET-CT with CT contrast is possible. Otherwise, the scan proceeds without CT contrast to protect kidney health.
This radioactive test requires a doctor's prescription to prevent unnecessary scans. A doctor's assessment is crucial, and their interpretation of the PET-CT report is vital to avoid misreading the results.
Schedule in Advance
Book your appointment a day prior as labs have limited availability and need to prepare the required radioactive materials. Early planning is advised.
Allocate 3 Hours at the Lab
The procedure involves administering a contrast and radioactive injection, followed by a one-hour wait before scanning. The lab also needs time to review your medical reports and observe for any immediate side effects post-scan.
Normal BP and Sugar Levels
Ensure your blood pressure and sugar levels are within the acceptable range. Labs prioritize safety and may not proceed with the scan if these levels are off.
What to Avoid Before a PET-CT Scan
1.Fasting for 6 hours: Avoid eating for at least 6 hours before the scan. Absence of glucose in the body is critical to avoid impacting the scan's accuracy.Hence, scans are usually scheduled in the morning.
2.Remove Metal Jewellery: Metal objects can disrupt scan results, so it's best to leave all metal jewellery at home.
3.Avoid Strenuous Activities: Avoid high-energy exercises or activities before the scan, as they can affect the outcome.
4.Skip Tight Clothing: Wear loose, comfortable clothing for the scan to avoid any interference caused by restrictive attire.
Types of PET-CT Scans
There are many ways we can differentiate the types of pet scan. Let’s explore a few below:
Based on functionality of the PET-CT:
1. FDG Whole Body PET-CT Scan : This is the most common type of PET-CT Scan and Is used for general cancers.
2. PSMA PET-CT Scan: This is used only for Prostate Cancer treatments. Most prostate cancer patients are asked to do this unless doctor has some reason to use different type of a PET-CT scan.
3. Dotanoc PET-CT Scan: Whenever there is an neuroendocrinal (NET) cancers (NET - pancreases cancer, NET - Gastric cancer) then you typically use Dotanoc/dotatoc/Dotatoc scans. All there are similar PET-CT Scans with the radioactive elements from same family of drugs.
4. Other PET-CT Scans: There are other PET-CT scans used for very specific purposes such as knowing the growth of cancer in brain, understanding specific cardiac functions, etc. These are beyond the purview of the current article.
Based on type of imaging technologies:
Digital PET-CT: This technology uses the latest image processing technologies which is digital in nature. Due to this the imaging accuracy is higher than usual and also the amount of radioactive element used is lesser than analog.
Analog PET-CT: This is the older technology. This is typically cheaper than the digital and more pocket friendly for the patient. However, the accuracy is slightly lesser and amount of radiation used is slightly higher. But please keep in mind, most centres across the globe still use analog and it is accepted by most oncologists to make clinical decisions.
Also, a point to note when it comes to technology is to see the number of slices and number of source channels. Please do ask your lab of interest for these details to make a decision on where to get the PET-CT done. Slices are typically give in the multiples of 16 where 16 is the lowest in terms of accuracy and the higher you go the better it becomes ( for cancer 16 should be good enough but for cardiac conditions, a much higher number is preferred). Similarly the higher the number of channels, the better it is.
Cost of a PET-CT
Cost of PET-CT Scan in Hyderabad varies from 11,000 to 35,000. These varies on several factors such as the following:
Age of the machine: The older the machine, the cost of the scan decreases. But it is advisable to go for a machine less than 5 years and they tend to have higher accuracy
Lab or Hospital: Lab typically has lower cost of maintenance and hence they charge significantly lower than a hospital. Hence it is always better to find a good lab with good radiologist and machine than go for a hospital where the same scan can cost you almost twice.
Doctor Referral: Many times, a referral amount is given to the doctor. This could also play into the cost of a PET-CT. Hence it might be a good idea to explore costs directly via internet or walk-in that via the doctor. But please note, not all doctors take this referral and might pass on the discount to the patient. We at CION Cancer Clinics don’t take any doctor referral and pass on the entire benefit to our patients.
Tie-ups: Because hospitals or clinics might have a bulk discounts, they will typically get a better pricing than when a patient walks-in. We at CION Cancer Clinics pass on this benefit too to the patient, hence the patient will get a better price from centres like ours than when the patient goes directly to the lab.
About CION Cancer Clinics:
Cion Cancer Clinics is dedicated in providing PET CT scan facilities for early cancer detection and diagnosis. Early detection is crucial for effective cancer management and improved outcomes. Offering PET CT scans at a lower rate can contribute to making this essential diagnostic tool more accessible to individuals seeking timely and affordable healthcare services.
If you have any specific questions or if there's more information you'd like to share about the services or mission of Cion Cancer Clinics, feel free to provide additional details. Early detection efforts and accessible diagnostic services play a significant role in the ongoing fight against cancer, and it's commendable that your clinic is contributing to these efforts.
How to prepare for a PET CT scan?
Tell the doctor if you have any allergies,If you’re diabetic,
If you’re taking any medicines or vitamin tablets
If you’re pregnant
claustrophobia (fear of closed spaces )
When a PET Scan can be used ?
To detect cancer
To see for the spread of cancer
To monitor cancer treatment modalities
to check for cancer recurrence
What is the mechanism of a PET CT scan?
Cancerous cells take up more glucose as compared to normal cells. By injecting the radioactive drug calle d tracer, the cancer cells take up. As compared to normal cells. after pet ct, the cancerous cells appear as dark spots on the pet ct scan.
What does a PET CT machine look like?
A PET CT machine called a PET CT scanner is a doughnut-shaped machine. The patient lies on the padded table and is slid inside the PET CT machine
How much time it takes for a PET CT Scan?
It takes usually 30 minutes for a PET CT scan
What to do after a PET CT scan?
The patient can resume normal activities after the PET CT scan
Is PET CT a painful procedure?
PET CT is a non-invasive procedure and is not painful. It's just an imaging test where the scanner revolves around the patient to create detailed images.