OHC doctors use advanced imaging technologies to diagnose and treat cancer. Your physician has scheduled you for a PET/CT scan, and understandably you have questions about the procedure, and you may be anxious about learning the results. Our compassionate team of experts is here to address your concerns and help you to feel comfortable throughout the process. Following are answers to frequently asked questions. Feel free to contact us at (513) 791-9959.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a PET/CT scan?

A PET (positron emission tomography) scan is a diagnostic tool used to detect cancer, determine the stage of cancer, and evaluate the effectiveness of treatments such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or radiation therapy.

During a PET scan, radioactive sugar molecules are injected into the body and are absorbed by normal and cancer cells. Cancer cells absorb sugar more quickly than normal cells, so when a scan is performed, the cancer cells light up on the PET scan. A PET scan is often used to complement information gathered from a computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or physical examination.

What can a PET/CT scan tell me about cancer?

We use PET/CT with a high degree of confidence to:

  • Determine whether a tumor is cancerous
  • Diagnose, stage, or restage cancer
  • Detect metastatic tumors, resulting in more accurate treatment
  • Determine the right place for biopsy
  • Monitor cancer recurrence
  • Help your physician prescribe the best treatment and evaluate treatment effectiveness

How accurate is PET/CT scan?

PET/CT is more accurate than other tests at detecting local or metastatic tumors, and it helps physicians to identify the precise location of the disease more accurately. Because the PET and CT scans are done at the same time without the patient changing positions, there is less room for error.

What can I expect at my PET/CT scan appointment?

Having a PET/CT scan is a non-invasive and painless process that can be performed in less than two hours as an outpatient procedure.

Step 1: Registration
Upon arriving for your scan, office personnel will register you and take you to the imaging area where our technologists will ask you a series of questions regarding your medical history.

Step 2: Blood Sample
We will take a small blood sample from your fingertip to check your blood-sugar, or glucose, level (we also use a glucose monitor throughout the procedure).

Step 3: Tracer Injection
For a brief moment, a technologist will insert an intravenous (IV) catheter into your vein to inject a small amount of radioactive glucose into your bloodstream. This substance is called a “tracer” and will be distributed throughout your body. It has limited side effects. The tracer will be metabolized by your kidneys and excreted through your bladder.

Step 4: Relax
After your injection, you will be asked to relax and remain relatively still for about an hour.

Step 5: The Scan
When it is time for the scan to begin, a technologist will assist you in positioning your body comfortably on a “scanning bed” that moves slowly through the PET/CT machine while it scans your body for about 20-25 minutes. The scanner detects the injected tracer material, and it is important that you do not adjust your position to ensure that the two scans will perfectly align. A staff member will watch the test from a nearby room and you can speak to them.

After the procedure is complete, the scanner sends the information to a computer that displays the PET and CT images side-by-side. A radiologist will review the information and provide a detailed report of findings to your physician usually within 24 hours during business days.

How do I prepare for my PET/CT scan?

  • You may be asked to bring your CT/MRI films with you.
  • Do not perform strenuous activity for 24 hours prior to this procedure.
  • For a 24-hour period prior to your exam, limit your dietary intake of carbohydrates (sugars and starches) and drink extra fluids. Do not eat or drink (other than water) for five hours prior to your scheduled scan.
  • Some medications will interfere with a PET scan. Your physician will advise you if a particular medication should not be taken prior to the exam.
  • Wear warm, comfortable clothes to your appointment as the PET scanner requires a cool, air-conditioned environment.
  • Bring your insurance information.
  • Expect your appointment to last approximately 90 minutes.

My Test Results

Your results will be communicated to your doctor within 24 hours during normal business days. Please contact your physician directly to obtain results.

Scheduling

To schedule, you or someone from your referring physician’s office can contact Cincinnati PET Scan directly at (513) 791-9959 from 7:30am-5:30pm, Monday-Friday.

Insurance

Most PET/CT scans ordered by a physician for cancer evaluation are covered by insurance companies. In cases where prior authorization is required by your insurance carrier, our office will contact them prior to your visit.

Contact Us

Cincinnati PET Scan is the leading provider of PET services in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region. Centrally located in Kenwood, we specialize in quality PET imaging for certain types of cancer and neurological diseases. Cincinnati PET Scan is accredited by ACR (American College of Radiology) and uses a Philips Ingenuity TF PET/CT system. We pride ourselves on providing your physician with timely and accurate information about your disease.

To learn more about PET/CT imaging and its availability, please contact us at (513) 791-9959 from 7:30am-5:30pm, Monday-Friday.

Our office is located on the first floor of The Jewish Hospital-Mercy Health in Kenwood:

4777 E. Galbraith Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45236
Phone: (513) 791-9959
Fax: (513) 791-9958

Helpful Links

Cancer.Net: https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/diagnosing-cancer/tests-and-procedures/positron-emission-tomography-and-computed-tomography-pet-ct-scans

RadiologyInfo.org: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info/pet