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What is a PET-CT

PET-CT has revolutionized cancer care, providing detailed information for: diagnosis, planning surgery, treatment and monitoring treatment and aftercare.With PET-CT, doctors can detect tumors nearly three times smaller than masses visible on traditional scans. It enables them to better determine whether a mass is malignant (cancerous) or benign (not cancerous).

How does a PET-CT work?

What doctors see in a PET-CT image that distinguishes cancer from healthy tissue is the accumulation of a mildly radioactive substance, injected prior to the exam, called a radiotracer in the cancerous tissue. Most radiotracers are glucose (sugar) based. Cancerous cells and tumors absorb, accumulate and metabolize sugar faster than healthy tissue and appear as bright spots on the scan. Basically, PET-CT captures a picture of the biochemical activity occurring within a tumor or in cancerous tissue and reveals the size, shape and location of a suspicious mass.

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