PEMPositron Emission Mammography (PEM) is a special type of PET scan used for breast cancer detection. PEM produces a very focused image of the breast tissue that allows physicians to see cancer as small the width of a grain of rice. The images produced with PEM are often used by physicians to map out the best options for treatment.
Positron Emissions Mammography (PEM) is a special type of PET scan used for imaging breasts. PEM produces a focused image of the breast tissue that allows physicians to see cancer as small as 1.5-2 mm (about the width of a grain of rice). The images produced with PEM, show the location of abnormal masses and allow physicians to map out the best options for treatment.
About one hour before the PEM scan, a nurse or technologist will take a drop of blood from your finger to test your blood sugar level. If it is within the acceptable range, a small amount of radioactive sugar will be injected into your arm. You will then be directed to a quiet room and asked to sit still in a chair or lie comfortably in a recliner for about 60 minutes, giving your body time to absorb the sugar.
After an hour in the quiet room, you will be brought into the PEM scanning room and seated in a chair. The technologist will scan each breast separately for approximately 10 minutes. A typical PEM examination includes two scans per breast and the entire process could take up to two hours.
After your scan is completed, our radiologists will then read your high-resolution images. Results will be sent to your physician, who will review your final report with you.
Your doctor will provide specific instructions to prepare you for a PEM scan. To assure that you absorb the radioactive sugary properly, you should be instructed to not eat or drink anything, other than water and non-diabetic medication six (6) hours before your appointment. These instructions may differ if you are diabetic or have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Be sure to inform your doctor and clinic staff if you have either of these conditions. Generally, this will not prevent you from having a PEM scan. You may also bring a snack with you to the appointment to eat once the nurse or technologist gives you permission to do so.
It is recommended that you wear warm, comfortable clothing without metal, snaps, buttons or zippers to your appointment. At some point during the preparation process, you will be asked to remove your top and bra to put on a hospital gown to wear during the scanning procedure.
Please allow for at least two (2) hours for your exam.