Diagnosis and Treatment Planning

For more information about PET/CT, please call (908) 441-1560.

HRMC PET Diagnostic Imaging Accredited by the American College of Radiology

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HRMCs GE Discover ST PET/CT provides a shorter testing time with faster results, which means greater comfort for you, our patient.

The GE Discovery ST PET/CT system was developed to optimize cancer care. A PET, or Positron Emission Tomography, can also provide information that can be used for early detection of Alzheimer s disease, dementia, strokes, brain tumors and seizures, as well as determining the location and stage of cancer. PET technology further assists in the planning and overall treatment management of a patients care.

The Technology
HRMCs PET/CT provides an advanced imaging modality, capable of detecting specific diseases at an early stage.

The GE PET/CT system integrates Positron Emission Tomography (PET) technology with Computed Tomography (CT) imaging technology  and is capable of producing 2D and 3D images.  The scanner is further equipped with a larger bore to accommodate patients of all sizes. This Discovery ST system provides your physician with more sensitivity, speed, resolution, and diagnostic confidence when treating cancer patients.

Research has shown that PET/CT systems have had a significant impact on increasing diagnostic confidence for physicians. With a CT-alone scans, research has found that 60 percent of lesions are classified accurately and with PET-alone 90 percent of lesions are accurately classified. With the PET/CT it increases diagnostic confidence to 98 percent.*

The ST in Discovery ST stands for See and Treat, which is what this new system allows physicians to do. The Discovery ST assists physicians to see the disease and plan radiation therapy treatment. The new Discovery ST system will shorten scan times as well as provide improved image quality in both 2D and 3D modes.

Preparation for the Procedure

Generally speaking an individual who is going to have a PET/CT will be asked to discontinue all forms of exercise for a period of 24-48 hours before your appointment.  The individual will be asked not to eat or drink six hours prior to the exam and to avoid caffeine, sugar, pasta, potatoes, rice, bread, dessers or juices the evening before their appointment.  The individual can continue taking all their medication(s) unless otherwise instructed by their physician.

Day of the Procedure

On the day of the procedure, a Nuclear Medicine Technologist will inject the individual having the examination with a small amount of radioactive material called an isotope.  The individual will then be allowed to rest in a private room where they will be asked to remain up to 45 minutes before the imaging aspect of the exam begins.  The PET/CT technologist will assist you on to a table where you will lie during the procedure. The table is connected to the PET/CT scanner. There is no sound produced when the scanner is in operation and scanner is open on both ends eliminating any claustrophobia concerns.
The table will be move in small increments during the scan, allowing images to be taken of multiple areas of the body. You may feel a slight gliding movement as the table moves through the scanner.  An individual can expect to be at the imaging center for 2 to 3 hours.

PET and Cancer Care
For cancer care, PET technology allows our expert physicians and clinicians to determine a cancers stage. HRMC continues to use the PET technology throughout a patients treatment to continually monitor the progress of the treatment plan.

The Joan Knechel Cancer Center is part of the National Oncologic PET Registry.  This means that Medicare patients are now eligible for new PET studies previously not approved or reimbursed through CMS if they participate in the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR). 

For questions or to schedule an eligible PET/CT scan using the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR), please call the Cancer Center at 908-441-1560.

*Source:  GE Healthcare 2002.