Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Cancer- glucose scan

Cancer Tests:

"Positron Emission Tomography - PET scan - PET works by providing a dynamic image of the body's interior. Instead of taking a picture of the bones, like an X-ray, or the internal organs and soft tissue, like a MRI, PET lets doctors visualize the body's metabolism. Cells use the simple sugar glucose as a source of energy. By tracking how much glucose is metabolized in different areas of the body, PET enables physicians to map the body's use of the fuel. In order to see the glucose, nuclear medicine physicians attach radioactive tracers to a chemical cousin of glucose. When the mix is injected in a patient, the scanner and computer work together to create an image. Because cancer cells are dividing rapidly, they break down glucose at a much higher rate than most normal cells and the increased activity can show up on a scan. In this way, doctors can see both primary and metastatic tumors. PET scans differ from conventional CAT because this newer test is better able to detect much smaller, microscopic amounts of cancer cells that have been left over after treatment and to verify that a suspicious mass is truly cancer. CAT, on the other hand, is only able to detect larger masses, and only a surgical procedure, or biopsy, can verify that the CAT-detected mass is cancer. A PET scan can verify that even small masses are cancerous because the technique uses a type of sugar, or glucose, that glows. Cancer cells ingest larger amounts of glucose than normal cells, so they glow 'hotter' than normal cells. So while CAT can identify suspicious masses based on their size, PET scans can identify masses that are cancerous based on their behavior. PET scans can be used in place of biopsy in some patients suspected of having lung cancer, and helps to guide treatment. 'PET allows us to see the metabolism of a tumor,' Conti said. 'From that we can infer whether "


Blogger alvinwriter said...

This hunger for glucose which cancer cells experience can potentially be used to interfere with their growth. It's just a matter of knowing how to starve the wayward cells of this nutrient, as well as oxygen which they also use. It's a good area to focus on by scientists.

- Alvin from The Health Desk at

Sat. Jun. 23, 02:07:00 a.m. 2007  

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