Frequently Asked Questions

Is a PET/CT scan safe?

Yes, a PET/CT scan is safe and the risks associated are very minimal. The quantity of imaging agent used is very low and degrades quickly. On average, more than 90% of the imaging agent has left the body before the patient leaves our facility. Any remaining imaging agent will leave the body through urine shortly after the scan.


What is being injected for the scan and why?
Fluorodeoxyglucose, or FDG, is a type of glucose (or sugar) that is injected into the body for a PET/CT scan. Glucose is a common substance that every cell in the body requires in order to function. Only a very small amount of the FDG is used for the scan – such a small amount that it would take 1,000,000 doses of FDG to equal the amount of glucose found in one teaspoon of sugar.

The FDG used in the PET/CT scan is absorbed inside the body’s tissue. Areas with rapid cell growth, such as malignant tumors, will absorb more of the substance, allowing our specialized PET/CT radiologists to identify areas with disease.


Is PET/CT scan painful?
No, the only discomfort involved in a PET/CT scan is when the IV is inserted.


What are the benefits of a PET/CT scan?
There are three main benefits to having a PET/CT scan.
1 – Early diagnosis: Cancer can be detected much earlier with a PET/CT scan because it allows physicians to see the activity or growth of cells in the body.

2 – Accuracy: PET scans provide incredibly accurate readings of cell activity allowing doctors to determine the stage and severity of a problem, while CT scans produce extremely accurate results regarding the location and size of a tumor.

3 – Treatment and Monitoring: Because of the detailed and accurate information of a PET/CT, physicians are able to determine which treatment will be most beneficial to a patient and are able to more accurately monitor the results throughout these treatments.


What is a PET/CT scan?
A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is a unique type of imaging test that helps doctors see how the organs and tissues inside your body are actually functioning.

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is a diagnostic examination used to detect cancer and find out the cancer’s stage (a way of describing a cancer, such as where it is located, whether or where it has spread, and whether it is affecting the functions of other organs in the body). Staging helps the doctor decide what kind of treatment is best and predict a patient’s prognosis (chance of recovery). The scan can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.