PET Scan

Coastal Cancer Center

Oncologists & Hematologists located in Myrtle Beach, Conway, Loris, & Murrells Inlet, SC

Having convenient access to advanced diagnostic equipment, like PET scans, can make managing your health care needs a little easier. For over 36 years, Coastal Cancer Center has proudly provided the leading services dedicated to treating blood disorders and cancer at their offices throughout the Grand Strand area. To schedule a PET scan at their Conway or Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, locations, call Coastal Cancer Center to book an appointment today.

PET Scans Q & A

What is a PET scan?

PET, or positron emission tomography, scans are a specific type of digital imaging test that relies on radioactive drugs to illuminate your tissue and organ function. This technology can sometimes reveal signs of disease before other types of imaging tests can.

Depending on the tissue or organ being evaluated, the radioactive drug, or tracer, is either inhaled, swallowed, or injected. As it moves through your system, the tracer can reveal higher levels of chemical activity that might indicate disease. When this occurs, a bright spot appears in the area.

Coastal Cancer Center offers PET scan imaging at their Conway and Myrtle Beach locations.

Why do I need a PET scan?

Your provider might order a PET scan for a variety of reasons. Because they look at the chemical activity in your body, they can help detect numerous conditions, including heart disease, brain disorders, and many cancers.

PET scans can also:

  • Reveal if cancer has spread
  • Evaluate the efficacy of your cancer treatments
  • Look for cancer recurrence

Using a PET scan can help your provider make a more accurate diagnosis and better understand the extent of your condition.

How does a PET scan detect cancer?

Cancer cells have a higher metabolic rate than your normal cells, so they appear as bright spots on PET scans. PET scans can also reveal some forms of solid tumors, such as:

  • Brain, head, and neck
  • Colorectal
  • Prostate
  • Thyroid
  • Esophageal
  • Pancreatic

Not all types of cancer appear on PET scans, and several non-cancerous conditions can look like cancer. That’s why it’s essential to have an experienced provider interpret your PET scan results.

What can I expect during a PET scan?

PET scans usually take around 45 minutes.

Before your PET scan begins, you receive the radioactive tracer. After waiting 30-60 minutes, you lie on a motorized table that moves you inside the round tube housing the PET scanner. You lie still during the scan and may hear the machine making clicking and buzzing noises.

PET scans are usually painless, though you may feel a cold sensation if your provider administers your tracer by injection. Generally, you can resume normal activities after your test while drinking plenty of fluids to flush the radioactive drug from your system.

Call Coastal Cancer Center to schedule a PET scan today.