What is a PET/CT Scan?

Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) scans take 3D images of your body that help to detect cancer metastases (spreading). The PET scan is sensitive and can find these changes earlier than other types of scans while they are still highly treatable.

When is a PET/CT Scan Performed?

If you have a lymph node that is positive for cancer your doctor will order a PET/CT scan to see if the cancer has spread anywhere else in the body.

What Can I Expect?

  • If you are breast feeding or there is a chance you are pregnant, let the scheduler know.
  • Do not eat or drink anything for four hours before your procedure time. This includes gum, lozenges, and hard candies.
  • Do not drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages (tea, coffee, soda), or smoke 24 hours before the procedure.
  • Your doctor will advise you about taking your prescription medications before the scan. You should only take these medications with a small sip of water. If you take insulin the scheduling secretary will schedule your scan after lunch to ensure your insulin was taken six hours before the scan.
  • On the day of the scan bring your insurance information, a prescription from your doctor, and a copy of any previous PET/CT scans that were done including the report.
  • Wear warm, comfortable, metal-free clothing (no zippers or snaps).
  • Upon arrival a nurse will ask you about your medicines, allergies, and health history.
  • You will be required to remove clothing or jewelry that could interfere with the scan such as belts, earrings, shirts with snaps or zippers, bras, and glasses.
  • A nurse will put an intravenous line in your arm for you to receive the injection of a radioactive material. A brief circulation period will be required before scanning begins. It is important that you rest comfortably and quietly during this time.
  • You will lie on a padded exam table which moves into a large opening in the scanner. You must lie still during the exam. The scan takes 20-30 minutes.
  • Plan on spending two to three hours in the imaging center. Scan times can vary depending on the patient.

Contact Us

Dubin Breast Center
The Mount Sinai Hospital
Klingenstein Pavilion
1176 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10029

For Appointments and Information
Tel: 855-TO-DUBIN (863-8246) or
212-241-3300

Breast Imaging
Tel: 212-241-3300 option 1

Breast Surgery
Tel: 212-241-3300 option 2

Breast Reconstruction (plastic surgery)
Tel: 212-241-4410

Medical Oncology
Tel: 212-241-3300 option 3

Radiation Oncology
Tel: 212-241-7501

Breast Pathology
Tel: 212-241-7397

Breast Health Resource Program (psychosocial support)
Tel: 212-987-3063