Adams Diagnostic Imaging PET Scan
Adams Diagnostic Imaging brings cutting-edge radiology programs to Pennsylvania for the convenience of patients in the region.
PET Scan Services
PET scans are powerful tools for cancer diagnosis, helping doctors detect and treat cancer more effectively. With our cutting-edge PET scanning technology, Adams Diagnostic Imaging brings this functionality to Central Pennsylvania, offering PET Scan Imaging services for Gettysburg and the surrounding area for the convenience of patients in the region.
What Is a PET Scan?
A PET scan — or Positron Emission Technology scan — is a diagnostic imaging test that allows a doctor to observe body functions on a cellular level and potentially diagnose diseases or other internal issues. Using a special dye containing radioactive tracers that the patient will receive through injection, PET scanners highlight the organs and tissues that absorb the tracers, displaying levels of high chemical activity to indicate disease.
What Do PET Scan Results Reveal?
By focusing on chemical activity, PET scans can detect metabolic changes at a cellular level in the tissue and organs, measuring oxygen intake, sugar use, blood flow, metabolic rate and a variety of other essential bodily functions. Unlike other scans like MRIs and CT scans, PET scans can detect cellular changes at a very early stage, giving your doctor a more complex understanding of any detected disease and a head start on beginning treatment plans.
Why Would You Need a PET Scan?
If your doctor suspects you may have a certain disease or condition, they may recommend you receive a PET scan to take a better look at your internal functions and discover whether the disease is present, how far along it has progressed, and determine the best avenue of treatment. PET scan results are most commonly examined to detect the following conditions:
- Cancer: Because cancer cells have a higher metabolic rate than normal cells, PET scan tracers gravitate toward their high levels of chemical activity — consequentially, cancer cells appear as bright, obvious spots on your scan results, showing the doctor where the cancer is and whether it has spread. Doctors use PET scans to check for cancer, see if cancer treatments are effective and look for cancer recurrences.
- Heart problems: Because healthy heart tissue absorbs the scan tracers more than unhealthy tissue, PET scan results will reveal incidences and areas of decreased blood flow to the heart. By observing and understanding the different degrees of brightness and color on your scan, your doctor will be able to understand the levels of tissue function and potential problems in your heart, like coronary artery disease.
- Brain disorders: Glucose is the main source of fuel for the brain, and PET scan tracers attach themselves to glucose compounds, revealing which areas of the brain may be using glucose at abnormally high rates and indicating problems with brain function or brain tumors. Detectable conditions include tumors and memory disorders.
- Central nervous system disorders: PET scans are used to diagnose and understand a variety of CNS disorders, like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, head trauma, epilepsy, seizure disorders and depression.
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 radio pharmaceutical – 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 different than normal. Over the next hour, you will lounge comfortably in a warm room on a reclining chair while the radio pharmaceutical 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.
Contact ADI for more information or to schedule your appointment today.