Positron emission tomography-computed tomography also known as PET-CT or PET/CT is a nuclear medicine technique which combines a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner and a CT (computed tomography) scanner to take collective images to create a functional view of the body.
It can help diagnose conditions such as:
detect cancer & whether it has spread in the body
determine blood flow to the heart muscle
determine the effects of a heart attack, or myocardial infarction, on areas of the heart
identify areas of the heart muscle that would benefit from a procedure such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery (in combination with a myocardial perfusion scan)
evaluate brain abnormalities, such as tumors, memory disorders, seizures, and other central nervous system disorders.
map the normal human brain and heart function.
PET scan risks.
Having PET and PET-CT scans can add to your stress as a cancer survivor. These tests often find health problems that are not serious. This may lead to more tests and procedures, including follow-up scans, and even biopsies and surgery.
Also, PET, and especially PET-CT scans do expose you to high levels of radiation. The effects of radiation add up over your lifetime. This can increase your risk of cancer.
How to save money on a PET/CT scan cost?
Take your doctor's referral to the facility that offers you the best price for a PET/CT scan
Shop around across 4-10 facilities to find the best deal for you, focus also on free-standing imaging centers
Pay in cash to save 40-80% of the cost (HSA counts)
Consider doing this PET/CT in the large metro area (Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami) that have more competitive rates