PET – CT scan is an advanced imaging technique in radiology that combines two tests, one is the PET (positron emission tomography) and other is CT (computed tomography) in one single machine to provide functional images of the organs of the body. It helps the doctors to obtain functional and structural information about the cells and tissues of a human body. This scan is a part of nuclear medicine and the scan is performed using a special solution of Radioactive Glucose inserted in the veins of the patient’s body. The PET CT Scanner can easily trace the working of the organs and the tissues as the organs absorb the radioactive glucose solution.
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PET CT scan helps in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases like heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, neurological disorders and other abnormalities within the body. Apart from these diseases, PET CT scan is a high end imaging technology that helps detect cancerous tissues and cells in the body which are usually missed in CT or MRI scans.
PET – CT scan procedure
PET CT scan is normally a noninvasive and an outpatient procedure. Normally, a patient is asked not to consume any food for at least 4 to 6 hours before the scan, but they should drink plenty of water. The patient may also have to avoid caffeine for at least 24 hours before the scan. To conduct the scan, a short-lived radioactive isotope tracer is injected into the veins of the patient. The radioactive glucose is called FDG (F-18 labeled fluorodeoxyglucose). The patient needs to wait for 60 minutes while the active molecule becomes concentrated in tissues of the body. Few patients may be given mild sedatives too.
Once the patient is ready with a hospital provided gown, he will have to lie on the table that slides into the circular scan machine for examination. When the patient is under the scanner, the radioactive glucose highlights the organs and the doctors are able to see the functioning of the organs and the tissues. The scanner passes the gamma rays into the body and the organs that are highlighted with the radioactive glucose emit back the signals to the machine. The scanner can measure the blood flow, oxygen use, glucose metabolism (how your body uses sugar), and much more. The cancerous cells have greater concentration of glucose in them; hence they are easily tagged by the radioactive solution and can be easily detected during the scan. During this process, the scanner captures three-dimensional images which can be reconstructed using computer analysis. The entire process may take around 2 – 3 hours including the resting time before the scan.
Clinical Application of PET CT Scan
PET-CT systems were more of a research tool initially. David Townsend and Ronald Nutt started working on it. The prototype of the first PET-CT scanner for clinical evaluation was installed at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in 1998. The scanner commercially reached the market in 2001 and by 2004 around 400 scanners were installed worldwide. From then on, these scanners have played a vital role in medical diagnosis and helped people improve on their quality of life.
PET CT scan are very helpful and unlike CT and MRI, PET CT scans show results at the functional level of the cells and the tissues. PET CT scans are commonly used to detect cancer, heart problems, brain disorders and problems with the central nervous system. Apart from that it also helps diagnose complex diseases like coronary artery disease, brain tumors, memory disorders, seizures, Alzheimer’s and more. PET CT has made its mark on departments like Oncology, Cardiology and Neurology.
Oncology – Helps to detect and locate the tumors in the brain, head, neck and other parts of the body. Helps diagnose stage of the cancer and tumors, and also helps locate them. Helps in diagnosis, staging, and monitoring treatment of cancers, particularly in Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and lung cancer
Cardiology – helps in assessment of myocardial viability in patients with ischemic heart failure, poor ventricular function that needs considered for revascularization, coronary artery disease, unstable angina, heart valve disease and other heart problems
Neurology – it works on the assumption that areas of high radioactivity are associated with brain activity measured indirectly with the flow of the blood to different parts of the brain. It helps in diagnosis of diseases and disorders like Alzheimer’s, seizures, stroke, huntington’s disease, Epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and other neuromuscular diseases.
Role of PET CT in Cancer diagnosis
Cancer is a chronic disease and has become a very common cause of mortality in India. It occurs when the cells in the human body divide and grow chaotically. When cells divide and produce more cells as and when necessary, a human body is healthy and functions properly. But when cells keep growing and diving even when it is not needed, the mass of these extra cells forms a growth or a tumor. These can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors are usually not life threatening and can be removed. In most cases, they don’t return. Malignant tumors are cancerous and life threatening and these cells divide abnormally without control. They can also break away from the current place and spread to the other parts of the body.
Approximately one million new cases are detected every year. The estimated projected incidence of cancer in 2020 is 1.25 million and for 2025 it is 1.50 million according to The International Cancer Agency GLOBCAN. There are different types of cancer that have proved their prevalence like, breast, cervical, oral, lung, stomach, colorectal, pharyngeal, esophageal, laryngeal, leukemia, prostate, and liver being the most common cancers in the descending order. PET CT Scanners were introduced commercially in 2002. According to the prevailing incidence of cancer the requirement of PET CT scanner has increased in India. PET CT scans have proved their importance in staging, interim response evaluation, and response evaluation at treatment completion.
Few benefits of PET CT scans are
- Helps detect and diagnose life threatening diseases like cancer, heart problems, brain disorders and problems associated with central nervous system.
- Get more data on the health condition and the progress of any treatment
- Captures images and gives results at the functional level unlike CT and MRI which give data at structural level.
- Helps locate the cancer, whether it is static or spread to the other organs.
- Helps the doctor differentiate between benign and malignant tumors.
- Post treatment, depending upon the symptoms, usually helps to find if the cancer has returned.
PET CT Scan cost in India
PET CT scan is the best thing happened in nuclear medicine and is taking new heights in medical diagnosis. There has been lot of improvement from earlier traditional scanning methods to the present day high end technological advancements in imaging radiology on tests like positron emission tomography (PET), structural computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
It takes nearly 100 crores to set up a PET-CT scan center, along with approvals from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and certifications from ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories). Apart from the set up cost it needs a lot to hold on to the best facilities, technicians and doctors. Right now there are 108 PET CT scan facilities in India at metro cities performing half a million PET CT scans annually. India has 21 medical cyclotrons producing the PET CT isotope and supplying the F-18 fludeoxyglucose (FDG) to the public and private scan centers throughout India. But this is just not enough to cater the growing need of the cancer incidence.
With all the cost involved, the PET CT scans also ends up to be the most expensive tests in India. PET CT Scan costs can vary across laboratories in different cities. The cost of whole body PET CT scan in the major metro cities in India is mentioned below
PET CT scan cost in Bangalore – Rs.15,000
PET CT scan cost in Hyderabad – Rs.9999
PET CT scan cost in Mumbai – Rs.9999
PET CT scan cost in Chennai – Rs.13,000
PET CT is a main tool of diagnosis in Cancer. Few PET CT scan centers in these cities charge as less as INR 10,000 and few charge as much as INR 35,000. The average cost of this scan is around INR 20,000. The difference in the costing is unknown and it is not easy to find out the price in each scan center to get a better deal.
How to find high quality PET CT scan centers in India ?
Scans like CT, MRI and PET CT are highly technical imaging tests in radiology. They emit radiations during the scan which are considered to be harmful for the people around including the patients, doctors, technicians and the people moving around in the building. It is very important to follow the safety regulations while setting up these PET CT scan centers. The AERB has set norms and regulations that a PET scan center needs to meet like the technical configuration of the scanner, the thickness of the wall of the scanning room, the qualification of the technicians and helpers, and of course the experience of the radiologists present in the center. The scanners come in different configurations and the model of the equipment used (16 Slices & above PET CT scanners are considered to be safe) also plays a vital role in deciding the quality of the scan center. Apart from the approval of AERB, the center also needs to be certified by ISO and NABL which keeps a timely record of the quality of the services and the technical competence of the scan centers. All these factors decide on the quality of the service they provide and the accuracy of the reports generated.
There are several online guides like BookmyScans that provide information about the costs of PET CT scans in these cities and help you book appointments online at affordable prices and great quality of services. BookmyScans partners only with centers that are quality standards approved and certified. These websites help you compare the prices across different scan centers and book appointments with centers of your choice.
Avail 50% discount on PET CT scan in India
The current situation of cancer care in India is dreadful. People end up in debts to afford treatments for this disease. PET CT is advised by a doctor when he suspects any cancer, heart /nerve problems (or) to diagnose the impact of ongoing cancer treatments in the patient. There are only few PET CT scan centers in India, and getting an appointment through this niche market with quality labs is easier said than done. PET CT scan is a procedure where a patient spends an average of 3 hours in the scan center including the resting time before the test and the actual time taken to perform the test. If the patient is required to wait, queue up and then book an appointment, just to know he will have to return back the next day for the test, it will definitely lead to loss of patience and stress.
Walking with the changing world of digitalization, it’s time we change our appointment booking system from the traditional pen to paper method to online booking system. BookmyScans is one platform that has been able to pin point the pain areas of the patients and has created an online guide that provides information about scans centers along with the prices for comparison. It is user friendly, convenient, accessible and affordable. BookmyScans has successfully been able to provide services through approved and certified PET CT scan centers to more than 10,000 people and has helped them save more than 1.2 crores. Patients now have access to PET CT scan centers that provide transparent services to the user and guarantees minimum 50% of discount on the market rates of Full body PET CT scans in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Coimbatore.
BookmyScans partners with PET CT scan centres that are AERB approved and ISO and NABL certified. Also, these centers are periodically audited for their quality of services provided and accuracy of reports. BookmyScans is working towards helping the large population of India with timely and proper healthcare facilities and by ensuring affordability and accessibility to all the people of our country. This has been a great help to the doctors as well as the patients in managing health and cycle of their diagnosis, cure or treatments and reports.