PET (Positron Emission Tomography) imaging is a diagnostic tool that uses
a camera and a small amount of radioactive tracer to show how body tissues
are working. While other imaging techniques (CT scans or MRIs) can detect
changes in the physical size or structure of organs, PET scans detect
changes in the cellular function, allowing physicians to detect problems
before they would show up in other imaging tests.
Before the scan, the patient is injected with radioactive material. The
amount of radiation is small- about the same amount that is use in a normal
X-ray. The scan is painless and there are no side effects. The PET scan
offers a variety of advantages- it is less invasive than many procedures
and tests, and may lead to earlier treatment.
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