Archive for July 8th, 2010

I have a PET-TAC every three months. However,not ALL tumours show up on a PET-TAC, this is rare but it does happen.

Here is a step by step guide to a PET-TAC if anyone should be due this exam.

From experience, there is no pain or after effects but you must not go near children for 24 hours or pregnat women and flush the lavatory twice after each use.

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that uses a radioactive substance (called a tracer) to look for disease in the body.

Unlike magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans, which reveal the structure of and blood flow to and from organs, a PET scan shows how organs and tissues are working.

How the Test is Performed

The health care provider will inject a small amount of a radioactive material into one of your veins, usually on the inside of the elbow. The substance travels through the blood and collects in organs and tissues.

You’ll be asked to wait nearby as the radioactive substance is absorbed by your body. This usually takes about 1 hour.

Then, you will lie down on a table that slides into a tunnel-shaped hole in the center of the PET scanner.

The PET machine detects energy given off by the radioactive substance and changes it into 3-dimensional pictures. The images are sent to a computer, where they are displayed on a monitor for the health care provider to read.

You must lie still during the PET scan so that the machine can produce clear images. How long the test takes depends on what part of the body is being scanned.

How to Prepare for the Test

You must sign a consent form before having this test. You will be told not to eat anything for 4 – 6 hours before the PET scan, although you will be able to drink water.

Tell your health care provider if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant.

Also tell your health care provider about any prescription and over-the-counter medicines that you are taking, because they may interfere with the test.

Be sure to mention if you have any allergies, or if you’ve had any recent imaging studies using injected dye (contrast).

During the test, you may need to wear a hospital gown. Take off any jewelry, dentures, and other metal objects because they could affect the scan results.

How the Test Will Feel

You will feel a sharp prick when the needle with the radioactive substance is inserted into your vein. You shouldn’t feel anything during the actual PET scan.

Why the Test is Performed

A PET scan can reveal the size, shape, position, and some function of organs.

This test can be used to:

Check brain function

Diagnose cancer, heart problems, and brain disorders

See how far cancer has spread

Show areas in which there is poor blood flow to the heart

Several PET scans may be taken over time to determine how well you are responding to treatment for cancer or another illness.

Normal Results

There are no problems detected in the size, shape, or position of an organ. There are no areas in which the radiotracer has abnormally collected.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Abnormal heart function

Abnormal size, shape, or position of an organ

Alzheimer’s disease

Cancer (presence and how far it has spread)

Change in organ function




The amount of radiation used in a PET scan is low. It is about the same amount of radiation as in most CT scans. Also, the radiation doesn’t last for very long in your body.

However, women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding should let their doctor know before having this test. Infants and babies developing in the womb are more sensitive to the effects of radiation because their organs are still growing.

It is possible, although very unlikely, to have an allergic reaction to the radioactive subtance. Some people have pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site.


It is possible to have false results on a PET scan. Blood sugar or insulin levels may affect the test results in people with diabetes.

Most PET scans are now performed along with a CT scan. This combination scan is called a PET/CT.

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I have my own Cancer blog and I started it to help others. I wanted it to be a place where someone may find a little peace and hope.

I wanted to reach out and show Cancer does NOT mean you are going to die, although, if cancer had his way, he would take each and everyone of us.

I have found an amazing woman who had breast cancer and fought the battle, the battle to win.

I only know her name is Jill and she had an idea. Jill explains in her blog the lonliness of going through cancer and she wanted to make a difference.

Jill decided to open a blog where all cancer victims may go to rant, to cry, to laugh, to tell their story.

I have read some of the cases on Jills blog and they make you weep, some are terminal and they talk of their fear of death, it makes me very sad.

Wolfie, has become my friend and he is going through hell, If I could, I would go to be with him right now but I cannot because of my own health problems but Wolfie knows how much I care.

Jills blog offers a lifeline and within moments of joining I had friends and fellow supporters.

If there is anyone out there suffering from cancer, Jill offers you the chance to open your own blog, it is FREE and takes seconds to join.

So, next time if you see on Twitter ‘Blog for a Cure’ don’t just pass by but giveĀ us a little tweet.


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