Do PET Scans Pose A Risk?

Many diagnostic imaging scans may seem foreign to patients and understandably so. The use of tracers and dyes can be intimidating and may even raise questions regarding patient safety. Radiation exposure is a common question concerning PET scans, but we are here to clear up any safety concerns you may have.

The Importance of PET

A doctor often suggests a positron emission tomography or PET, scan to check for disease in the body. Since PET’s have the ability to take a closer look at blood flow and internal tissues and organs, this scan is often used to diagnose cancer, heart problems, brain disorders, and potential problems in the central nervous system. PET scans are the best for inspecting complex systemic diseases from seizures to brain tumors.

This imaging test utilizes radioactive tracers that are injected into the body in order to highlight the performance of specific organs and tissues. This special dye aids radiologists in seeing vital details like blood flow, oxygen use, glucose metabolism (how your body uses sugar), and much more.

PET scans are an important tool used for cancer patients. The tracers used during this scan assists doctors in detecting cancerous cells in the body. PET scans have the important role when looking at how cancer metabolizes, whether it has spread to new areas.

PET Scan Safety & Risks

While PET scans do use radiation, the radiation exposure is minimal. If you undergo the occasional PET scan, the radiation levels are so low that it will not negatively affect your body. Like other diagnostic imaging scans like CT scans and x-rays, the radiation emitted can be potentially harmful but these medical tests are low-dose.  If you’re concerned about your safety or are pregnant, consult your doctor before undergoing a PET scan or any other imaging test.

PET scans are an important imaging tool, specifically when diagnosing illnesses or cancer. Fortunately for our patients, PET scans are safe and emit only a low-dose of radiation. Now that you’re a PET expert, you’re ready to undergo your scan at our practice. Make an appointment with one of our board-certified radiologists today!

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