The Valley Hospital is proud to announce the availability of PET/CT scanning technology to our patients. PET/CT, or Positron Emission Tomography combined with CAT Scan, is a lifesaving molecular imaging technology that is unsurpassed in the diagnosis and staging of some cancers, as well as the diagnosis of heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.
For a primer on PET/CT scanning, click here. To learn about the technical specifications of Valley's PET/CT Scanner, click here.
PET/CT is making critical contributions to cancer care as well as in cardiology and neurology. Advantages of PET can include earlier diagnoses, identification of distant metastases, elimination of invasive procedures, avoidance of multiple tests, better assessment of chemotherapy effectiveness and more effective patient monitoring. PET/CT is also an outstanding tool for assessing cardiac viability, as well as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological disorders.
For patients with cancer in remission, upon any possible signs of recurring disease, PET/CT scans can determine whether cancer has returned to previously affected organs or anywhere in the patient’s body. Unlike MRIs and CAT scans, which produce still images of physical structures in the body, PET/CT is revolutionary because it tracks actual metabolic processes and body function, which dramatically distinguish cancerous and other diseased tissue from normal functioning cells.
Specifically, glucose or other compounds treated with radioactive tracers are injected into the patient’s body. The PET/CT scan provides a clear picture of how some body organs use these compounds and in turn allows for the design of optimum treatment for many diseases. For example, since some cancerous tissues metabolize glucose at much higher rates than normal tissue, with a single scan, a PET/CT scan may produce clear indications of cancerous tissue. For other diseases such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or neurological disorders, PET/CT similarly reflects actual metabolic processes, which provides an extraordinary depiction of normal or diseased functioning of organs.