• What exactly is a Pet scan?

    Asked by sassygal51 on Friday, October 5, 2012

    What exactly is a Pet scan?

    2 Answers from the Community

    • FreeBird's Avatar

      Hello. Here's a good page from the National Cancer Institute that explains the various scans http://imaging.cancer.gov/patientsandproviders/cancerimaging/nuclearimaging

      It's really clever. Knowing that the cancer uses more sugar, they basically use radioactive sugar to track where it goes, and the areas where there are tumors light up like a christmas tree on the scan. If it wasn't so horrible, it was really interesting looking at the scans.

      about 4 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar
      Peroll (Best Answer!)

      Freebird's link explains the scan better than I could but you need to know that not only cancers light up in PET scans. Healing from recent surgeries, and maybe 100 other things can light up on a PET scan so do not take a light up as gospel but as one of may clues. I my self had a torn rotator cuff light up on my last PET scan. Told me why my shoulder was hurting for the past 10 years. MRI cponfirmed it was a rotator cuff and not cancer there. Also PET scans do not work on the brain as the brain reacts to sugar just like cancer and gobbles it up. If you get a positive on the PET scan be sure to ask your doctor what else it could be and do not necessarly accept right away that it is cancer..

      about 4 years ago

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