Cancer Treatment Centers of America

PET/CT scan for ovarian cancer

PET/CT scan for ovarian cancer

This technology is sometimes used to help diagnose ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer. The scan measures a tumor's ability to use glucose, which is a type of sugar. Faster-growing cells use more sugar and show up brighter on a PET/CT scan. This may indicate the presence of cancer before it's detected by other means.

  • GE Discovery™ PET/CT 600 scanner – This state-of-the-art four-dimensional CT scanner produces detailed cross-sectional X-ray images of structures within the body. It also enables our radiologists to plan treatment in accordance with patients' breathing patterns.

What is a PET/CT scan?

This advanced nuclear imaging technique combines positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) into one machine. A PET/CT scan reveals information about both the structure and function of cells and tissues in the body during a single imaging session.

During a PET/CT scan, the patient is first injected with a glucose (sugar) solution that contains a very small amount of radioactive material. The substance is absorbed by the particular organs or tissues being examined. The patient rests on a table and slides into a large tunnel-shaped scanner. The PET/CT scanner is then able to "see" damaged or cancerous cells where the glucose is being taken up (cancer cells often use more glucose than normal cells) and the rate at which the tumor is using the glucose (which may help determine the tumor grade). The procedure is painless and varies in length, depending on the part of the body that is being evaluated.

By combining information about the body's anatomy and metabolic function, a PET/CT scan provides a more detailed picture of cancerous tissues than either test does alone. The images are captured in a single scan, which provides a high level of accuracy.

PET/CT scan medical animation