So, just been
I have been strictly forbidden by my
Did you know that a PET involves you emitting gamma rays? Yeah! No kidding.
...a radiotracer is either injected into a vein, swallowed or inhaled as a gas and eventually accumulates in the organ or area of your body being examined, where it gives off energy in the form of gamma rays [Coo-Whul!]. This energy is detected by a device called a gamma camera, a (positron emission tomography) PET scanner and/or probe. These devices work together with a computer to measure the amount of radiotracer absorbed by your body and to produce special pictures offering details on both the structure and function of organs and tissues.
In some centers, nuclear medicine images can be superimposed with computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to produce special views, a practice known as image fusion or co-registration. These views allow the information from two different studies to be correlated and interpreted on one image, leading to more precise information and accurate diagnoses. In addition, manufacturers are now making single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) and positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) units that are able to perform both imaging studies at the same time.
I don't know about you, but I'm still back there with "gamma rays" And yes, I thought exactly what you're thinking. "Hulk SMASH!"
Also, I see from around the medical net that people tend to do what I have been forbidden to do, and use the info online to diagnose themselves (or, according to my own more nuanced version, work themselves up into a screaming panic attack). This note was appended to the image I have linked to above:
"Note: Images are shown for illustrative purposes. Do not attempt to draw conclusions or make diagnoses by comparing these images to other medical images, particularly your own. Only qualified physicians should interpret images; the radiologist is the physician expert trained in medical imaging."
But really! a machine that reads your insides, down to the cellular level, by making you emit photons...
Science: it's really just AMAY-ZINGly cool!
BTW: want to know some statistics on MRIs? It will make good fuel for argument about that whole socialist medicine thing.
Number of MRI machines in Canada as of 2008: 222 (a increase of 28% since 2003)
Number per million Canadians: 6
Number of MRIs per million recommended by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): 7
Italy ("two-tier" optional user-pay system) was in the top five in 2005 with 15 machines per million people, after Japan (40.1), US (26.6), Iceland (20.3) and Austria (16.3). Canada was 16th on the list with 6.1 and the UK was 18th with 5.4. A report compiled by the Canadian health department explained the disparity of MRI availability between countries thus:
A wide range of factors may explain the variations in the international supply pattern of medical imaging services and technologies. In the case of Japan, for example, the high rate of MRIs per million population (40.1) has been partly attributed to the market situation of the medical engineering industry, as well as socio-cultural factors such as a bias toward new technologies.
Does that mean that Canada's medical community has a bias against new technologies, or just that their government is incompetent and can't figure out that more MRIs (and consequently shorter wait lists) mean more people surviving things like cancer? Just askin'.
Furthermore, decisions by individual countries about which types of imaging technology to invest in, and how many machines to acquire, may depend on a variety of domestic factors, including the state of the assessment of the appropriateness of a particular technology’s use in different clinical situations and environments.Because under socialist medicine, it's not the doctor that decides whether a particular diagnostic tool is "appropriate," it's the state.
Number of computed tomography (CT) scans per 1000
Canada: 103 (2007)
Number of MRI scans Canada: 31/1000
Number in US: 88.9/1000