What is a PET scan?

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) uses radiation to detect, localize and quantify cancer inside the human body.  PET scans are the most reliable, effective method for the evaluation of metastatic disease and help oncologists with the initial staging of cancers as well as to evaluate disease response for various treatment plans.  When oncologists and patients need accurate, fast answers there is no more powerful tool than a PET scan.

 

What should I expect?

Often times patients who have their first PET scan are extremely nervous about what to expect from the exam.  While the PET scanner itself is an incredibly complicated instrument, the actual scan is very simple for the patient.   Most PET scans require that you be fasting for four hours prior to their exam time and the technologist will speak to you ahead of time to ask some simple questions about your health.  Once the exam begins you will be injected with a small amount of a radiopharmaceutical – a specially designed drug that travels through your body, attaches to sites where cancer is located and gives off a small amount of radiation.   The injection has no side effects, no drug interactions and does not make you feel any differently than normal.  Over the next hour you will lounge comfortably in a warm room on a reclining chair while the radiopharmaceutical does its job.  During that time many patients choose to get some sleep or read a book while they relax.  When the hour is up, you will be taken into the scan room and over the next twenty minutes the technologist will take the images that will show your doctor all the information they will need to help you.

 

How good are the results?

The PET scan is a marvel of modern science and can detect areas of cancer long before any symptoms may present themselves.  You and your doctor will be able to identify areas of concern as small as a few millimeters anywhere in your body so that you can get the care and peace of mind you need.  Our images are interpreted by board certified radiologists who are specialists in this type of imaging and the results of your scan are provided to your doctor usually within twenty four hours.  With our physician portal you and your doctor can view the same images as our radiologists and go over them during your next office visit.

 

Why is it far less expensive at Adams Diagnostic Imaging?

Adams Diagnostic Imaging is a fraction of the cost of any other PET imaging center in Gettysburg or surrounding areas.  Just like our competitors our scanner is accredited by the American College of Radiology, our technologists are nationally certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and our radiologists are all board certified.  Unlike other PET imaging centers however, your scan isn’t paying for staff and management that isn’t part of your care.  That lets us keep our service personalized, costs low and provides our patients with the affordable care they need to heal.