A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is a specific type of imaging test that can help your doctor see how your tissues and organs are functioning.
Unlike other scanning techniques, a PET scan isn't designed to show structural detail of organs. Instead, a PET scan shows images containing more or less intense color to provide information about chemical activity within certain organs and tissues. This chemical activity may indicate areas of disease not detected by other scanning methods. In certain conditions, this may cause your doctor to alter treatment plans.
This special kind of test uses radioactive sugar with the nickname "FDG" (fluorodeoxyglucose), which is injected into the body. Many cancers have high energy demands because of their high growth rate. Consequently, these cancers use a lot of sugars. PET/CT imaging can be used to identify where these tumors are growing in the body. Recent studies have shown that PET/CT imaging alters further treatment plans in more than one-third of patients having the study. It is no wonder then that PET/CT imaging has become a routine diagnostic imaging study of choice for many patients with cancer to stage the extent of disease at the time of diagnosis and to restage the disease after treatment. HCNW offers the only PET/CT imaging service in the Flathead Valley.