doctors in the department
The first PET Center in the country was opened at “Acibadem Sistina” under the professional leadership of Dr. Liljana Muratovska, the only specialist in nuclear medicine in Macedonia with clinical practice in PET/CT apparatus. The results of PET/CT scan give a precise information on the location of the tumor, on its spread, on how to target the treatment properly and to monitor and assess the treatment effects. Making an appointment is fast and a specialist report is obtained within (a maximum of) 48 hours.
PET/CT – GOLD STANDARD IN TREATMENT OF MALIGNANT DISEASES
PET/CT is the most effective imaging technique used for the diagnostics, staging the malignant disease, assessment of the effects of cancer therapy, in addition to aiding the planning of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in treating most cancers. PET/CT imaging technique combines:
PET – Positron Emission Tomography which evaluates metabolic changes occurring in organs and tissues of the human body
CT – Computerized Tomography which provides detailed anatomical information.
PET/CT is mainly used in cancer imaging in oncology. Furthermore, it finds its application in cardiology and the diagnostics of ischemic heart diseases, in neurology – in the treatment of epilepsy and dementia and even in the treatment of various inflammatory diseases.
WHAT IS PET/CT USED FOR?
Early diagnosis of cancer
- Using PET/CT enables early and accurate diagnosis of cancer. It determines the exact location of the cancer cells with a size of up to 5mm.
In certain cases it enables rapid diagnosis without prior biopsy or surgical tumor removal.
- PET/CT does not require prior surgical interventions in determining the cancerous tissue. One scan is sufficient for the detection of the size and location of the cancer cells.
Diagnosis with only one scanning
- PET/CT is used in detection of almost all types of cancers with one scan. Simultaneously the whole body is visible as a result of the images obtained by PET/CT.
It determines the stage of the disease
- It takes one scanning to determine the how much the cancer has spread, i.e. to determine the stage of the disease.
Successful planning for radiotherapy and chemotherapy
- The world gold standard is to plan the treatment by integrating PET/CT in order to obtain the maximum effects of the therapy.
Monitoring the effects of the cancer therapy
- In order to increase the success of the cancer treatment, PET/CT scan is necessary before and during the treatment. The purpose of the scan is to have a clear understanding on the reaction of the cancer cells to the therapy, whether they have been destroyed or continued to multiply.
Determining metastatic cancers
- PET/CT scans can determine whether the disease has spread to other organs or tissues, i.e. determine whether metastases are present. Previous imaging techniques did not diagnose small size metastases in an early stage. Using PET/CT they can be diagnosed on time and start treatment at the earliest convenience.
One PET/CT scan can replace multiple medical examinations.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING PET/CT SCAN?
- Prior to performing PET/CT scan, the patient should not take any food at least 6 hours before the scanning. During this period, the patient can drink water, preferably 1-2 cups.
- A radioactive tracer – positron emitter (radiofpharmaceutical) is injected intravenously, in a comfortable environment protected from external influence.
- The dose of the radioactive material (FDG) is very low and has no side effects.
- After injecting radiopharaceuticals, patients wait for about 45 minutes to 1 hour for the radiopharmaceutical to be distributed through the body. Scanning promptly follows.
- The process of scanning is performed in 15-30 minutes depending on the type of PET/CT scanner, the type of the pharmaceutical, as well as the height of the patient and the organ that is being under examination. After the scanning, whole body images are obtained and the radiopharmaceutical and changes at the cellular level are registered. The images are later processed using special computer software.
Does PET/CT scanning have negative consequences?
PET/CT scan is safe for the patients.
Scanning can be performed in children and adults, in patients with implants and artificial dentures, as well as in patients with diabetes. Even though a radioactive tracer positron – emitter (radiopharmaceutical) is used in the process, radiation is minimal. The doses used are so small that they do not affect the normal body processes.
How long does it take to get the results?
After the scanning, the physician will interpret the results and write a report. This process at “Acibadem Sistina” Hospital lasts for no more than 48 hours.
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