PET Project


I got my latest PET scan today. It should have been done a month ago but my auto accident postponed everything. It’s the first scan I’ve had since my bone marrow transplant in June and will show what’s happening on the cancer front.

Nothing I hope.

PET stands for “Positron Emission Tomography.” Here’s how it works. The scan-ee has to fast for 12 hours, then is injected with a tracer isotope, usually fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), just prior to the scan. The FDG collects in high glucose-using cells such as the brain, the liver, and rapidly growing tumors, a.k.a. cancers.

After about an hour the patient is put on a flat table and drawn into the imaging scanner that records the energy given off by the FDG. This energy is converted into hi def, 3-D pictures that can be manipulated and studied from any angle.

PET Scanner - Positron Emission Tomography machine

A PET scan differs from a CT scan or MRI in that it reveals changes on the cellular level whereas a CT or MRI detects changes in the structure of organs or tissues. PET scans are especially useful for diagnosing, staging and monitoring treatment of cancers, particularly lymphomas.

That’s why I’ve had several.

Good thing they’re painless.

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3 thoughts on “PET Project

  1. Thanks for explaining the different kinds of scans. It seems like all three have been in the conversation of someone I know lately.

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