Before cancer symptoms start appearing, a PET-CT study may anticipate it

5 dia pasa , 13 di juli 2018 11:57
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Before cancer symptoms start appearing,
a PET-CT study may anticipate it

A Pet-CT study benefits a patient because it reveals with anticipation compare to other analysis if its organism has any suggestive areas of neoplastic disease. That is to say, if an excessive division of cells is presented so that it results in the formation of atypical body tissues called neoplastic or tumor, which may form in any part of the body.

While the word tumor tends to be synonym of cancer, this could be benign, premalignant or malignant. There are possible causes, symptoms and diagnostic techniques of the neoplastic disease, as well as different treatment options and prognosis.

According to Dr. Claudia Salazar, nuclear physician of CDD Las Mercedes, this type of analysis is done in 90% of the cases to oncology patients; although this method is used in some types of dementia such as Alzheimer, fever of undetermined origin and infectious processes such as osteomyelitis.

The PET-CT study or positron emission tomography is the combination of conventional tomography (CT) with the metabolic or functional imaging (PET). Its objective is to observe the areas with increased uptake that may suggest the neoplastic disease in activity.

“It is relatively simple. The patient receives a radiopharmaceutical dose that is iñected into the bloodstream; this dose is calculated depending on the weight and height of the patient. After, approximately, an hour of the iñection, the patient goes through the machine for 30 minutes where the images are obtained, reconstructed and analyzed by the nuclear physician”, says Dr. Salazar.

Other useful options

In addition to the information that reveals the Pet-CT, which is early detection of atypical cellular activity, malignancy of the tumor and, if there are compromised organs or extent of the disease, it also shows if the lesion may be operated or not, or if it may be treated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy, avoiding to intervene the patient to and not weaken him/her more. “We have heard people say: he/she was opened and closed. The Pet-CT avoids this embarrassing and painful situation so much for the patient as for the relatives”.

At second instance, the Pet-CT study may be done when the patient is already diagnosed with cancer and is on chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment.

The nuclear physician explains that this study can measure if the treatment is being effective or not. If the patient has the same or an increased metabolic cellular activity, this means that the treatment has to be modified because it isn’t making any effect. In the other hand, if the Pet-CT reveals a decrease or even the disappearance of the activity, it indicates that the treatment has been effective.

The Pet-CT study helps to confirm that the treatment has been satisfactory for what the total remission of the tumor is achieved and the case is discharged. Then, the patient has to follow a regular monitoring ordered by its physician in order to determine if there is or not any relapse.

With the study of the Pet-Ct, on early stage of the disease, the patient has better possibilities of receiving treatment on time, preventing the lesion to improve. With cancer, timing is essential. It is against the patient.

Nuclear Medicine in CDD Las Mercedes

Centro Diagnóstico Docente, CDD Las Mercedes, run by Dr. Wilson Mourad, specialist on digestive tract, offers a nuclear medicine unit where two nuclear physicians, Claudia Salazar and Anaida Salazar, and two medical radiologists work in it. The areas that include this unit are: PET-CT, SPECT and treatment of thyroid pathology benign o malignant.

Dr. Salazar holds that among the studies and treatments that they realize are: Pet-CT, bone, thyroid and cardiac gammagram, brain and kidney tumor viability. Furthermore, procedures for diagnosis and treatment of benign or malignant thyroid pathology.

As to gammagram examinations, she points out that is a method of functional imaging that uses a radioactive isotope attached to an analogue molecule of the organ that is being examined. Depending of the study it could be of bone, kidney, cardiac, brain or thyroid tissue.

“If it is about a patient with cardiovascular disease, -she says-, gammagram helps to detect a stroke, coronary artery disease, if it is sensitive or not to myocardial revascularization and for the global evaluation of the heart function”.

In the same way it helps to appreciate the glomerular and tubular renal function.

Also, in the evaluation of dementia, especially in Alzheimer.

It is useful to evaluate the presence of viable tumoral tissue at brain level and for the thyroid function; it is valid to diagnose on time malignant o benign nodules.

What will gain the patient that goes to nuclear medicine?

Nuclear medicine studies cellular processes in different organs, using radioactive isotopes attached to analogue molecules to the organ that is being examined. The benefit lies that the nuclear or metabolic changes appear first than the structural changes (observed throughout conventional radiology studies); reason why with the use of this method an early diagnose of neoplastic can be done. In the same way, it can show earlier if the treatment administered (chemotherapy or radiotherapy) is being effective or not.

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