PET scans during treatment


Does anyone have any advice or tips for those who are undergoing tests such as a PET scan during treatment, who may be feeling worried or anxious? What helped you?

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I had 2 PET scans in 2008. Procedures may have changed slightly, but I was alone in a room for an hour while the radioactive injection went round my body before the actual scan. I was not able to take reading matter, but was allowed to take in a choice of CDs, and I had a snooze on the couch. You will be ravenous afterwards so take some food to have when you come out.

Thank you sharing your experience Louise, good advice about having something to eat afterwards!

They don’t allow reading material but some music is good for the hour waiting for the tracer to work it’s way around the body. I suffer from claustrophobia and found the first session in the machine tough but had some hypnotherapy to help with that for future ones. Most of my scans lasted about 45 minutes and I asked about music, or even spoken word radio, while in the scanner but they want you to lie very still and so nothing that might distract you or make you laugh/dance is allowed. I found that breathing exercises helped and I went to my ‘Happy places’ to pass the time. If it helps, ask the technicians to speak to you every few minutes on the intercom which can help pass the time and relieve anxiety.
I also found it helped to not think of it as a medical procedure but to view the time as a couple of hours away from the daily noise and actually enjoyed the peace and quiet of it all.
Good luck with it all.

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Hi I just had my PET scan 2 days ago and think am still feeling the effects of not being able to eat before it. I didn’t realise I wouldn’t be able to read so having music to listen to is brilliant advice as I found it quite boring waiting doing nothing. Just waiting for my results now before the next lot of treatment.

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Like Paul I enjoyed having that time when I didn’t feel guilty that I wasn’t doing something else (although at the time I was beyond doing much above preparing dinner with help, and sorting washing) I hope scan results are promising @Buddy and that you don’t have too long to wait. Louise x