Diagnostic Imaging: Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine services at Fox Chase Cancer Center include both conventional nuclear medicine imaging and PET scanning with PET/CT fusion.

Fox Chase's gamma camera allows for accurate cancer diagnosis and faster scan times for patients undergoing this imaging. The gamma camera lets radiologists view magnified images of targeted areas of the body. It can be used for whole-body and general-purpose procedures.

A subspecialty of radiology, nuclear medicine uses imaging tests to produce pictures of both the body's anatomy and functions. Sophisticated instruments detect energy given off by very small amounts of radioactive material given to the patient intravenously or by mouth. This is how the images are formed.


Advantages of PET/CT fusion:

  • Detecting small tumors, allowing for diagnosis of very early cancers
  • Improving the precision of cancer staging prior to surgery or other cancer treatment
  • Determining if a cancer has recurred (come back) or if a lesion is scar tissue from surgery
  • Eliminating unnecessary invasive exams or surgeries

PET/CT is the combination of 2 advanced technologies fused together to give higher quality, more detailed images of a patient's internal anatomy and cell metabolic functions. In 2002, Fox Chase Cancer Center became the first institution in the Greater Philadelphia region to offer the PET/CT scanner.

PET stands for positron emission tomography. It takes computerized pictures of high metabolic activity in the body. Metabolic activities are the physical and chemical changes taking place in living cells, such as how cells absorb nutrition. Cancerous cells usually have a higher level of metabolic activity than normal cells. CT, or computerized tomography, uses high-definition X-ray images to show the body's anatomy.

PET/CT is especially useful for accurate diagnosis and staging of cancers of the head and neck, breast, lung, esophagus, colon, lymphoma, melanoma and certain thyroid cancers.
Read more about PET at Fox Chase Cancer Center »

For more information about PET/CT at Fox Chase Cancer Center or to make an appointment, call 215-214-4210.


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