PET/CT Scans: Painless and Powerful

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St. Mary’s Hospital offers mobile PET/CT scan services through a contract with Alliance Imaging, the country’s leading provider of imaging services. These scans, offered on Mondays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., are scheduled through your doctor.

What is PET/CT?
Positron emission tomography, or PET, is a painless diagnostic test that demonstrates how well the body’s cells are functioning.  Considered a powerful diagnostic breakthrough, PET/CT is a technology that combines images from the highly sensitive PET scan, which detects changes in the way cells behave, with detailed pictures of internal anatomy from the computed tomography (CT) scan. 

After the PET and CT scans are obtained, computer manipulation allows the two exams to be viewed independently, as well as in a superimposed form.  This combined im¬age, in both 2-D and 3-D form, shows precisely where abnormalities exist, making it possible for earlier cancer and heart disease diagnosis, accurate staging and more precise treatment and monitoring. The PET/CT image also provides early detection of the recurrence of cancer, revealing tumors that may otherwise be obscured by scarring that results from surgery and radiation therapy, especially in the head and neck areas.

Best of all, this system provides doctors with more sensitivity, speed, resolution and diagnostic confidence when treating cancer patients.

PET/CT has been in place at the hospital since August 2008.  Since then, more than 200 patients have used the service, said Lorie Williams Pheasant of Alliance Imaging. 
For more information, call (301) 475-6106 or visit

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