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Covenant Health is an innovative, Catholic regional delivery network and a leader in values based, not-for-profit health and elder care. We sponsor hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living residences and other health and elder care organizations throughout New England.

PET Scans: Advanced Cancer Detection Technology

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is an advanced technology that provides patients with better cancer care. This minimally invasive diagnostic imaging procedure can scan the whole body in a single exam to detect cancer cells the size of a pea. The very first PET scan in the Greater Nashua area was performed right here at St. Joseph Hospital.

How PET works

PET uses tiny amounts of a radioactive tracer to help show changes in cellular activity that can signal the severity and location of disease. PET imaging can show these changes long before they may appear on a CT, MRI or X-ray.

Facts About PET Scans

  • PET can find cancer early when it is most treatable.
  • PET can pinpoint when cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
  • PET scans are used to determine if cancer treatment is working.
  • PET scans can show if a cancer has returned.
  • PET provides images of how the body is functioning without invasive surgical procedures.
  • PET is safe and painless with no known side effects.
  • A PET scan usually takes about an hour and a half to complete.

For more information about PET scanning services at St. Joseph Hospital, call Kirk Perry, Director of Cardiovascular Services, at (603) 882-3000, ext. 66161.