Computed Tomography scans (CT scans) are specialized X-ray imaging scans that produce a 3D image of your body and organs. This cross-sectional technology allows for the most accurate localization, size and shape of tumors and lesions. The sensitivity and accuracy of this information is of extreme value in determining your treatment options.
In our continuous commitment to patient care, FCS has invested in specialized software and technology, which minimizes radiation exposure, while producing the highest quality images.
A Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan is a highly specialized and effective way to visualize the metabolic activity of the cells inside the body. This activity will produce images that will identify the location of diseases such as cancer and the possible spread of the disease to other areas of the body.
A PET scan can also help physicians monitor the treatment of disease. For example, chemotherapy leads to changes in cancer cells; the goal is to stop its growth and to kill the bad cells. PET scan images will help determine if the cancer is positively responding to treatment.
A PET scan allows your physician to see changes to your cancer in a way that has never before been possible.
This is because the radioactive medicine (dose) that is used for these scans is mixed with sugar. Your body’s natural tendency is to absorb sugar. As your body absorbs the sugar, it also absorbs the radioactive medicine. If your cancer/tumor is already dead or dying, it will not absorb the sugar and radioactive medicine. This gives physicians an alternative technique to evaluate treatments earlier, perhaps even leading to modifications in treatment.
Another use for PET scans is after your cancer treatment is complete. A PET scan allows the physician to see if your cancer has recurred. PET scans enable your physician to distinguish between the images and shadows that are normal on an x-ray image or CT scan. They can help determine whether there are any active (“alive”) cancer cells or if there is only dead tissue, such as scar tissue. These “normal” shadows and/or scar tissues can be the result of surgery and/or radiation therapy.
Perhaps most importantly, a PET scan puts time on your side. The earlier the diagnosis and the more accurate the assessment of the extent of disease, the better the chance for successful treatment.
PET Scans Are a Vital Part of Cancer Care
The majority of PET scans are performed for diagnosing, staging and evaluating treatments for cancer care. A PET scan helps the physician distinguish between living and dead tissue or between benign and malignant disorders, unlike other imaging technologies that merely confirm the presence of a mass. PET imaging technology provides the physician with additional information about how your cancer is growing (i.e., whether it is fast or slow growing). At the end of the PET scan, a trained Radiologist can determine if your tumor is malignant or benign, depending on its specific characteristics.