Decoding PET CT

The PET CT Scan is one of the sought after diagnostic tests. Lets find out more on what is a PET CT and why is it preferred over other diagnostic tests, such as an MRI, CT Scan or an ultrasound.

What is a PET Scan ?

A PET Scan is a nuclear medicine technique which produces images of the human body at a molecular level.

A PET CT, uses radioactive tracers in conjugation with isotopes such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon etc. These radio isotopes act at a molecular level and work as probes which seek out disease, cancer in the body while giving out radio signals which are captures to produce an image.

PR

PET CT Scan
PET CT

This can help in diagnosis of even the tiniest lesions, thus increasing the accuracy of investigation, subsequent diagnosis and hence cancer treatment.

A PET CT Scan, therefore reveals a lot more about the body than standard diagnostic tests such as MRI, CT Scan or an ultrasound.

What happens during a PET Scan ?

A PET CT Scan, is always on a price appointment basis as the radio isotopes, having a a very short half life need to be brought in just before the scan.

A PET CT, is usually carried out empty stomach on overnight or ateast 6 hrs fasting.

The creatinine levels, need to checked prior to conducting the PET CT by a simple blood tests called KFT or Kidney function test

If the creatinine levels are in order, the patient is  tested for blood sugar and if found in order , the patient is given an injection of glucose with a radioactive tracer.

After the injection, the patient is made to rest for about 90 mins and then taken for the actual scan which takes about 30 mins to 45 mins depending upon the imaging required.

During the scan, the patient is made to lie on a comfortable table that moves slowly through the ring like PET scanner.

After the scan, the patient can leave immediately. However close contact with others especially children and pregnant women is best avoided for the next 4-6 hrs.

It is also good to drink a lot of water, to flush out the radio active tracer from the body.

The imaging can be seen by the doctors and the nuclear medicine specialists almost immediately for evaluation, though a formal written report takes a day to be handed over to the patient.

Are there any side effects or discomfort due to the scan ?

There are no sid effects or discomfort due to the PET  CT Scan, except the minor prick while injecting the tracer.

The PET CT scanner, also does not make any sounds while the scan is going on unlike a few other diagnostics tests.

What are the diseases for which a PET CT Scan can be used ?

The most common use case for a PET CT Scan is for detecting and treating cancer. However other applications, include diagnosing cardiac or heart problems and also neurology.

Cancer/Oncology :

During the initial stages of the disease, a PET CT helps distinguish between benign and malignant disease and also cancer staging, that is knowing  and determining the stage of the disease and also its characteristics, which further helps oncologists decide the best treatment option for the patient.

During course of treatment, it helps determine response to therapy or cancer treatment and if the metabolic activity decreases on the PET CT Scan, the oncologists know that the drugs being administered are working.

On the other hand, if the metabolic activity on the scan increases, it indicates that the treatment option is losing its efficacy or is not working and helps oncologists change the line of treatment to benefit the patient.

Cardiac Care: Post a heart attack, a PET CT Scan can be used to determine myopathy , need for CABG or open heart surgery and if there would be any benefit from CABG or would a heart transplant or an LVAD be a better treatment option.

Neurology: Alzeheimer’s at an early stage can be diagnosed using a PET Scan leading to early intervention.

A PET CT Scan helps locate tumours, distinguish between benign and malignant tumours and also scar tissue for brain surgery.

A PET CT  is also useful for treatment of epileptic seizures. It can help locate the origin and focus of seizures and assess sites for intervention if any is required.

What is the difference between a PET CT and an MRI or a CT ?

A CT or an MRI works on the physical level and can give the size and location of the tumour with accuracy.

However since both tests donot work on the molecular level, they cannot indicate metabolic activity of the tumour which only a PET CT Scan can indicate, thereby making a PET CT, a diagnostic test of choice for oncologists, cardiologists, cardiac or heart surgeons and interventional neurologists.

To know more on PET CT Scans, cost and implications, from the best cancer hospitals in India, write to us on info@ihealthkonnect.com or send us a query.

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Anaemic ! Could it be You ?

sickle cell anemia
anemia

Anaemia is very common medical condition, where the body does not produce enough healthy red blood cells or excessively destructs blood cells.
Most people have anaemia due to poor dietary habits and inadequate nutrition while certain forms of anaemia are hereditary.
Some of the early warning signs , which are common across all 400 types of anaemia are:

anemia symptoms
Early warning sign and symptoms that may appear in anemia

Fatigue : The most common warning sign of anaemia is fatigue. It occurs because the body doesn’t have enough Red Blood Cells to carry haemoglobin which contains oxygen to the cells leading to exhaustion.

Pale Skin : Paleness of the skin is usually dependent on the thickness and density of blood vessels below the skin. A lack of red blood cells due to anaemia

A very pale pallor can also be due to sickle cell anaemia ( a medical condition where abnormally shaped red blood cells block the flow of blood).

Swollen or Sore tongue : A big warning sign of anaemia is an anaemia tongue wherein ones tongue gets inflamed due to low iron levels in the body. The surface of the tongue can often smoothen out or your tongue can morph into different shades.

Swollen Hands and feet : Swollen hands and feet are a symptom of sickle cell anaemia. In sickle cell anaemia, the sickle shaped red blood cells clump together and block the flow of blood in the body – leading to the blood flow being cut off from the tissues and organs.

Shortness of breath : This occurs because the red blood cells carrying oxygen have less haemoglobin and less capacity to bind oxygen causing shortness of breath.

Brittle nails : Nails have a protective hard layer called keratin that protects the soft tissue in your nails. Lack of red blood cell production due to anaemia prohibits the growth of nails. Ridges and banding in the nails are often indicators of anaemia.

Appetite for inedible items : Pica is defined as a craving to chew or eat substances of no nutritional value such as ice, paper, chalk, pencils, wall putty etc. These unusual cravings in order to satiate the body’s appetite for iron must not be ignored as it is the first sign of anaemia.

Sickle cell anaemia is a very severe form of anaemia and is often inherited. Although those suffering from anaemia and sickle cell disease suffer from fatigue, pale pallor, shortness of breath, people suffering from just anemia rarely suffer from frequent chest infections or have painful crisis

Sicklers or people suffering from sickle cell anaemia, often have painful crisis situations, when the haemoglobin can even drop to between 1 and 3 leading to even death within few hours.

Sickles often suffer from organ damage and  may need a hip replacement . a shoulder replacement or rarely even a knee replacement.

Although Sickle cell anaemia can be managed with hydroxy urea, if the patients has reached a point where he or she suffers from chest infections, frequent painful crisis, or needs a hip replacement or shoulder replacement, a bone marrow transplant should be considered.

A bone marrow transplant, with matching donors has more than an 85% success rate and is the only possible cure and treatment for sickle cell anaemia.

To get a 2nd opinion on, Blood cancerLeukaemia  both ALL( Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia), AML( Acute Myeloid Leukemia) , MDS  T-cell Lymphoma, Myeloma, Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Sickle Cell Anemia from best cancer hospitals in India , Consult Now

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Understanding Blood Cancer and its Treatment Options

 

Leukemia
leukemia, cell proliferation

Blood Cancer:

Blood cancer originates from bone marrow and interferes with production and functioning of blood cells which are responsible for production of blood.  Stem cells therefore fail to mature into white, red blood cells and platelets through abnormal cancerous cells production hence the blood cannot fight infections or prevent excessive bleeding.

Types of Blood Cancer:

There exists three major types of blood cancer namely:

A) Leukemia:  Leukemia results from production of abnormal white blood cells in large numbers which cannot fight infections thus incapacitating bone marrow in the production or red blood cells and platelets. The main Leukemia’s are Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML),  Myelodysplastic syndrome(MDS)

B) Myeloma: Myeloma cells prevents normal production of antibodies by the plasma cells which fight infections therefore weakening a person’s immune system.

C)Non Hodgkin Lymphoma: In Non Hodgkin Lymphoma or NHL as it is called the lymphatic system generates immune cells after removal of excess body fluids .The cancerous lymphoma cells which are abnormal lymphocytes impair the immune system by collecting in lymph nodes and in body tissues.

Blood Cancer Treatment:

The blood cancer treatment options are chemotherapy to get the disease in remission followed by an bone marrow transplant.

The 2 types of Bone Marrow Transplants are :-

  1.  Autologous stem cell transplantation

In an autologous transplant, the patient is then exposed to chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells present in their body system . Once the discease is n remission, the stem cells are collected and stored in extremely cold conditions or rather frozen.

This exposure may greatly incapacitate the stem cells from carrying out their duty of producing blood therefore the previously frozen stem cells are reintroduced to produce blood.

2. Allogenic stem cell transplantation

Unlike in Autologous stem cell transplantation, in allogenic transplant , stem cells from a donor are introduced into the blood cancer patient’s body after a suitable match is identified.

On receiving the donor stem cells , the host’ immune cells detects the blood cancer cells as foreign and attacks them through an immune response. The Allogenic treatment option has it’s shortcoming of the recipient’s body rejecting the donor stem cells.

The introduced stem cells growing on the patient’s immune system can attack the normal organs like skin,lungs and liver leading to malfunctions . In case the malfunctions occur, immuno suppresants are administered to the patient to mitigate the effects.

Early detection and intervention of blood cancer makes treatment easier and the chances of being cured are high. Regular check ups  help.

Though still considered deadly, Leukemia is now curable provided detection and quality care and treatment can be offered in time.

India boasts of some of the best  onco-haemotologists in their hospitals, highly qualified doctors who are dedicated to cancer treatment , cancer treatment and research centres, low cost blood cancer care that is affordable.

To connect to the best hospitals in India, offering treatment for blood cancer or leukaemia, send us an email on info@ihealthkonnect.com or Consult Now.

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