What You Need to Know about PET Scans and Their Important Purpose

There is no doubt that various medical innovations have enabled us to live longer, healthier, and more fruitful lives. Thanks to medical technologies, individuals can detect medical conditions and address them in good time. One technology which has changed the lives of millions is PET scan technology. If your specialist has recommended a PET scan, you may be understandably concerned. But if you have more information about how PET scans work and what their purpose is, you will understand how essential they can be. Here’s what you need to know about PET scans and their purpose.

The basics of PET scans

PET stands for Positron Emission Tomography, and it’s a type of medical scanning procedure which makes use of tiny amounts of materials referred to as ‘radiotracers’ (a radioactive material) along with a computer and camera in order to evaluate a person’s tissue and organ functions. In essence, a PET scan can identify changes in the body at the cellular stage, so a disease can be detected early on.

How it works

A PET scan or PET imaging process is a type of imaging method in nuclear medicine. Nuclear medicine, a particular branch of imaging in the medical world, makes use of tiny quantities of radioactive materials in order to determine and diagnose either the severity of a disease or treat a disease. The diseases which can be diagnosed or treated by PET scans include different kinds of cancer, gastrointestinal conditions, heart disease, neurological conditions, endocrinal diseases, and more.

PET scans, just like other nuclear imaging methods, are often painless and non-invasive. The radioactive material can be injected, inhaled (in gas form), or swallowed. In different medical centres, images may also be overlaid with CT (computed tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans to produce a unique view.

The important purpose of a PET scan

PET scans can measure essential bodily functions, which include the flow of blood, use of oxygen, and metabolism processes. PET scans are often used for the detection of cancer as well as the assessment of how far cancer has been able to spread in the body. It can also determine a treatment method or plan’s effectiveness (such as therapy for cancer), and it can determine whether a particular cancer has come back. Additionally, PET scans determine the flow of blood to the heart, and it can assess the effect of a myocardial infarction or heart attack on different parts of the heart. PET scans are highly useful for evaluating abnormalities in the brain as well, such as seizures, tumours, and other disorders.

A PET scan serves an invaluable purpose indeed, but it has to be done by experts. If you or a family member require a PET scan, you can benefit from a private PET scan in London from the specialists at Alliance Medical, with its expert and trusted service.

Image attributed to Pixabay.com

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