Did you know what Prostate Cancer is?

The prostate is a male organ/gland which is located next to the urinary bladder. This organ produces semen. Usually, the health of the prostate gland is assessed by its PSA (prostate specific antigen) value. When the cells in the prostate gland multiply uncontrollably, the PSA value increases and cancer of prostate gland is suspected. Of all the cancers, prostate cancer is the second largest killer amongst men. Unlike before, the treatment for prostate cancer is now more patient specific. Precision therapy has become utmost important to avoid radiation on the nearby healthy tissues. Precision therapy requires accurate location and characterization of the malignancy.

psma pet-ct scan

PSMA PET scan procedure

Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) PET scan procedure is an imaging test in which an antibody (monoclonal antibody) is paired with radioactive material. This paired radioactive antibody is then injected into the bloodstream of the patient. The radioactive antibody travels in the body and attaches to the cancer cells and gets highlighted. The gamma camera used in PET produces three-dimensional images of the highlighted tumour cells inside the body. The precise location of the tumour is obtained when the test is performed with a contrast CT scan of the body.

The PSMA PET CT scan study has been found to be helpful in newly diagnosed prostate cancer as well as in those cases where prostatectomy ( removal of the prostate) have been done and PSA has been found to be elevated. In new cases, the PSMA studies are also helpful in finding the spread of the disease to lymph nodes and its metastasis status.

Do you need to prepare for the PSMA PET scan?

There is no special preparation required for the PSMA PET scanning apart from a few things as below:

  • A patient is advised to be on fasting for about four to five hours before the test.
  • He is advised to drink water before reaching the scanning centre.
  • The patient is asked to rest for an hour after the radioactive PSMA tracer is injected into the patient’s bloodstream through the vein.

The scanning process takes around 30 to 40 minutes. Usually, if further imaging is not needed the patient is told to go back.

Does PSMA PET CT scan have any side effects?

There is no side effect of the radioactive antibody tracer. Nausea, vomiting, and itching are very rare. The half-life of the PSMA tracer is so less that by the end of the day it gets flushed out from the body. That’s why a patient is advised to drink lots of water post imaging.

What is the cost of PSMA PET CT scan?

Though many cities have PET CT scan centres, the number of labs performing PSMA PET CT scan is restricted because not all the labs make the antibody needed to be mixed with the radioactive tracer. The scan cost varies from city to city in our country. It lies between RS.20,000 to RS.35,000. However, Bookmyscans provides a platform where one can book the same at a price of 60% lesser than the market price.

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