Tuesday, May 31, 2016

PET Scan Information: What Patients Need to Know

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a type of nuclear imaging that produces a three-dimensional image of the inside of the body. This body scanning method makes use of a special material that contains radioactive tracers which are injected to the vein to be absorbed by organs and tissues. Under a PET scanner, the tracers show the doctor how well or how bad your organs and tissues are functioning. PET scans are often used to detect health issues such as cancer, brain disorders, heart problems, and damage to the central nervous system.
Unlike CT, MRI or other imaging tests, PET scans can reveal problems on the cellular level. This is critical because many diseases in their early stages involve cellular and not structural changes, which can be impossible for certain imaging tests to detect. MRI and CT scans detect structural changes exclusively, which means PET scans are better at diagnosing certain diseases earlier than either of them.

Though effective, PET scan procedures are not without risks. One major source of risk is the fact that they involve the use of radioactive tracers. That said, experts say that radiation levels are too low to impact the body’s normal processes, but pregnant women are advised not to undergo the procedure as radiation at any level can be harmful to developing fetuses.
Another downside of PET scans is that they are more expensive than an MRI or CT, which is why they often come in short supply and are provided only by the most caring and skilled body scanning service providers. PET scans are an important aspect in the maintenance of your health, so if your physician recommends it, make sure to have it done as soon as possible.


PET Scan

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MRI and the Early Detection of Diseases

For some people, the phrase “health checkup” is enough to conjure images of getting pricked by needles, seeing blood, and feeling pain or discomfort; however, considering the many benefits of health screenings for early detection of diseases, the minimal inconvenience that you’ll go through in a check up would be worth it if you’ll be able to prevent a future made bleak by a preventable and highly manageable illness or disease.

How does early detection play a role in treating illnesses?

Regardless if problems are health-related or not, catching them early on results in less complications and expenses for an individual. Early detection makes it possible to contain and treat what could’ve been a serious health condition. For instance, when you’re diagnosed with mild hypertension before it reaches the highest stage, you can count on maintenance medications to control your blood pressure.

How can internal illnesses be detected?

Internal illnesses are typically diagnosed through a physical checkup and certain diagnostic procedures, from blood tests to imaging scans. When it comes to imaging tests, an MRI scan is among the top choices of medical practitioners.

What does an MRI do that can help in detecting illnesses?

An MRI is great for determining the structural status of internal organs. It gives physicians an accurate image of specific organs, making it easy to diagnose the presence of cysts, tumors, injury, or other abnormalities. From your brain down to the blood vessels in your legs, an MRI allows for accurate visualization of the internal components of your body.

What are the statistics that prove the importance of early detection in treating most diseases?

Numbers don’t lie and spotting diseases early can make a real difference in a person’s quality of life. For instance, 9 in 10 patients will survive bowel cancer for more than 5 years if they are diagnosed at the earliest stage. Moreover, more than 90% of women diagnosed with breast cancer at the earliest stage will survive their disease for at least 5 years compared to 15% of women who were diagnosed too late.


Health Screening: Finding Health Problems Early, WebMD