The typical PET/CT scan is performed from the base of the skull to the mid thigh. For certain types of skin cancer, we scan from the top of the head to the toes. These total body scans are not performed in all cases because they involve extra radiation which only increases risk but does not increase diagnostic benefit.
During a PET/CT scan, a special dye is injected into your body that helps to identify cancer cells. The dye will show up as bright spots on the scan, indicating the location of the cancer cells. This helps doctors to see the size and location of the tumor, which can be important when planning treatment.
PET/CT scans can also help doctors monitor the effectiveness of cancer treatments. By comparing scans taken before and after treatment, doctors can see if the treatment is working to shrink the tumor or kill the cancer cells.
Overall, PET/CT scans are an important tool in the fight against cancer. They help doctors to identify and treat cancer early, which can improve the chances of a successful recovery.