Dr. Kenyon Meadows, board-certified radiation oncologist with Southeast Georgia Health System
Cancer Care Centers. When a patient first visits me, prior to scheduling treatment, one of
the most useful tests I routinely order is called a
PET scan. A PET scan is a type of diagnostic imaging study where a patient is injected
with sugar that has low levels of radioactive activity attached to it.
The radiation levels are sufficiently low that they pose essentially no
danger to the patient or exposure risk to the public. But because cancer
cells are very active and multiply at a rapid rate, they absorb the majority
of the radioactive sugar, often producing a clear picture of where cancer
is distributed throughout the body. This is very useful in determining
the stage of your cancer, which in turn, has a profound impact on the
treatment I recommend to you. Additionally, the PET Scan can be a very
useful tool to monitor your response to treatment. One of my favorite
visits with patients is when I can show them their before and after PET
scans when there is clear and dramatic improvement.
As always, if you have questions or comments about PET scans, please submit
them in the box below and I will respond via email. Thanks!