169 Riverside Drive, Binghamton, NY 13905
Lourdes and Positron Imaging of the
Southern Tier are pleased to add a powerful resource to
the cancer-fighting tools of the Lourdes Regional Cancer Center.
The cutting-edge advances offered by our PET scanner means that one
of the latest advances in oncology diagnosis is now available in our
What is PET?
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is a
powerful diagnostic tool that, in many cases, renders answers that
no other imaging tests can provide. This noninvasive procedure
helps physicians in their diagnosis and treatment of certain
diseases. Biochemical changes are detected by a PET scan after a
compound that contains radioactive molecules, bound to a sugar-like
substance, is injected into the body. These molecules provide the
tracers that allow the measurement of metabolic activity within the
body. A computer records this information and converts it into
pictures for diagnostic purposes.
Clinical Applications of
Most common application of PET is in the field of Oncology.
Oncology (cancer) is the most important
application of PET and provides vital diagnostic information that
can alter the course of cancer treatment and sometimes help in
avoiding unwarranted surgery. PET provides critical information
about whether a tumor is malignant or not; the extent of cancer;
whether it has spread to other organs or not; monitoring of cancer
recurrences; and monitoring the effectiveness of chemotherapy or
radiotherapy. PET works with Lourdes CT Simulator to permit more precise treatments.
What are the benefits of PET for patients?
- Detailed diagnostic information, not available from
other tests (like CT, MRI)
- Shorter time for definitive diagnosis
- Earlier detection of disease with fewer invasive diagnostic
- Precise staging of the disease and better monitoring of cancer
- More effective tracking of the results of chemotherapy
- May avoid some surgical intervention
- Can contribute to lowering the overall cost of care
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. How long does it take and does it hurt?
A. In most cases you will be on the scanner
table for about an hour. However, you could be in the department
for up to three hours. The scan itself causes no pain. An IV line
may be started in your hand or arm in order to infuse
the radioactive labeled glucose.
Q. What is being injected for the scan?
A. A very small amount of radioactive labeled
glucose (FDG) is infused. The amount of radiation you will receive
is about the same as any other radiology procedure (CT scans or
Nuclear Medicine procedures). You should not feel any side effects
from the material. Most of the radioactivity will be gone by the
time you leave the department.
Q. How do I prepare for the exam?
A. Eating & Medication: On the day of your
exam, you should have no food for 6 hours prior to your
appointment. If your schedule allows, you may eat a light
breakfast. For example, 2 eggs with cheese and meat (no bread,
jam/jelly, honey, fruit, fruit juice, cereal, coffee, or tea), and
water only with breakfast. For the remainder of the day, you may
drink only water (please remember that you will be undergoing a one
hour long scan, so do not drink gallons of water. A few glasses
throughout the day is fine). Please do not chew gum on the day of
your exam until the scan is complete. You may take any medications
prescribed by your physician.
If you are a diabetic patient, you should eat small protein only
meals (i.e., meat, fish, or chicken) as needed to control your
blood sugar. You should adhere to your normal insulin schedule or
modify it only under your physician's supervision.
claustrophobic patients are able to tolerate our PET/CT due to the
unique design of the "open Gantry" and shorter scan duration.
Patients that are claustrophobic are encouraged to ask their
physician for a mild sedative to aid them and increase their
Activity during the scan: You should not sleep
during a brain scan because sleep changes the way your brain works.
If you are having a whole body scan which does not include a brain
scan, you can sleep. During the scan, we ask that you are in a
quiet, resting state. It is extremely important that you lie still
throughout the scan.
Q. What will happen after the scan?
A. It is important that you drink as much as
possible for the rest of the day and empty your bladder as often as
possible. This will result in a more rapid clearance of
radioactivity from your body. You can drive and resume normal
activities immediately after leaving the department, unless you
have received sedation.
Q. When will I get the results?
A. The final results will be given to your
referring physician as soon as the images are analyzed, usually
within one working day.
Q. Will my insurance cover PET?
A. Most insurance companies reimburse for PET
procedures. It is important to contact our office regarding
coverage. We should be able to assist you with pre-authorizations
or other specific insurance company requirements.
In the rare instances that medical insurance does not include
PET coverage, our policy is to work with you so that no person for
whom a PET would be a critical diagnostic or treatment related tool
is denied access to this technology.
For more information call Positron
Imaging of the Southern Tier at 607-729-9821.