Missouri Cancer Associates’ Technologists are dedicated to providing diagnostic services such as: CT scans, PET/CT scans, and X-rays in a safe environment. We are an ACR (American College of Radiology) accredidated facility that ensures you will always have the highest standard of care.

Missouri Cancer Radiology Team

MCA’s combined team of Physicians and Technologists coordinate your state-of-the-art imaging services to provide a long term individualized care plan for you. Their expertise in the imaging and treatment of cancer is second to none.

Your physician may order studies that will require you to be NPO (nothing my mouth) for up to six hours before your scheduled scan. Please comply with the patient instructions that you are provided to ensure you have the best scan possible. If you are diabetic or claustrophobic you may have special instructions regarding your medication schedule or need to be pre-medicated prior to your scan. Be sure to notify your physician if have allergies to contrast (dye).

PET Scans

What is a PET Scan?

A Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test revealing how your tissues and organs function. A tracer (radioactive drug) is injected into your body. From there, the tracer travels through the body and collects where there are high levels of chemical activity. These ‘activity levels’ are often a result of cancer and are shown on the PET scan in bright spots. This scan can also educate you and your physicians on how your body is responding to treatment.

Prepare for a PET Scan

To help your physician obtain the quality results from your PET scan it is important for you to plan in advance. The test may be swayed by what you eat or drink, so please avoid consuming anything other than water and prescribed medications six hours prior to the scan. The final meal before your scan needs to be high protein foods and lots of water. Carbohydrates and sugary foods alter results, as PET scans read your sugar metabolism. Finally, avoiding exercising 24 hours before your scheduled PET scan. Exercise could cause the tracer’s reading to be inaccurate.

Before your scan, please inform your medical team if you are:

  • Diabetic
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Taking steroid medication
  • Over 400 pounds
  • Claustrophobic
  • Unable to lie on your back for an extended amount of time
  • Receiving a high density contrast
What to Expect

When you arrive at Missouri Cancer Associates for your PET scan, our medical staff will take your blood sugar and begin an IV line containing a tracer. Depending on what your care team is looking for, the tracer needs to be given uptake time of approximately 45 minutes prior to your scan.

Next, you will be taken to the PET scan where you will be asked to lie on your back on the scan table. From there, the scan table will enter the scanner that is open at each end where the scan will take place. The PET scan will take 20 – 40 minutes. Please remember to remain still, as movement can affect the results of the test.

After the PET Scan

Once the test is complete, a tiny trace of the radioactive sugar injected into your body will remain. We strongly encourage you to drink plenty of water to help remove the tracer from your body.

Your physician will then research and study the results from your PET Scan and discuss them with you at your next appointment.

CT Scans

What is a CT Scan?

A computerized tomography (CT) scan takes several X-rays and uses computer processing technology to create images of what’s happening inside your body. At MCA, our CT Technologists utilize the scanner in combination with oral and/or IV contrast to enhance the images of you. These images are interpreted by a Radiologist. Your Physician and their medical team will use the results to create a treatment plan for you. These scans also inform your physician where the cancer is located and if your current care plan is working. Often subsequent scans are performed to track process.

What to Expect?

Prior to your CT scan, please be mindful of what you eat and drink. Please consume 20 oz. of water or clear juice and do not ingest (eat) anything for 4 hours before your scan. Depending on the type of CT scan ordered, you may need to have blood work done to ensure your kidneys are functioning properly and contrast can be utilized if ordered by your physician. After the necessary amount of oral contrast is consumed, you will be taken back for the scan. You will be asked to lie down on the scan table and an IV will be started or your port may be accessed. Depending on which part of your body is being scanned, you may be asked to:

  • Take off some or all of your clothing and wear a hospital gown
  • Remove metal objects, such as a belt, jewelry, dentures and eyeglasses, which might interfere with image results

The contrast used appears white on images, which can help emphasize blood vessels, intestines or other structures. Contrast material might be given to you:

  • By mouth: If your esophagus or stomach is being scanned, you may need to swallow a liquid that contains contrast material. This drink may taste unpleasant.
  • By IV injection: Contrast agents can be injected through a vein in your arm to help your gallbladder, urinary tract, liver or blood vessels stand out on the images. You may experience a feeling of warmth during the injection or a metallic taste in your mouth.

The machine takes images of your body as the table moves through the scanner which is open at each end. You may be asked to hold your breath to ensure motion-free images are obtained. This process usually takes 20 minutes.

Remember, your MCA staff is here for you. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your upcoming CT scan, please ask your doctor.

After the CT Scan

For patients who received intravenous contrast:

  1. Drink plenty of liquids and drinks. Drinks should be non-dehydrating, such as water, clear juices, decaffeinated coffee / tea, or clear liquids such as broth. This helps in getting rid of IV and oral contrast.
  2. Do not use NSAID’s for 24 hours following IV contrast administration. Examples of NSAID’s are: Aspirin, Alleve, Amigesic, Celebrex, Clinoril, Daypro, Dolobid, Feldene, Indocin, Lodine, Motrin, Naproxen, Naprosyn, Orudis, Relafen, Tolectin, Toradol, Vioxx, and Voltaren.
  3. If you are DIABETIC and taking Avandamet, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glucovance, Metformin, or Metaglip, discontinue your medication for 48 hours after the examination. Contact your referring physician if necessary.
  4. If you are breastfeeding, discard breast milk for 24 hours after injection.

For patients who got oral contrast only or both Oral and IV contrast:

  1. Oral contrast Barium can sometimes cause constipation. If you don’t pass stool in the next 48 hrs, use of a mild laxative such as Milk of Magnesia or Lactulose may help. Please contact your primary care or CT scan ordering physician for possible enema.

CT Scan Report will be available for your ordering physician’s review. If you need a copy of the report or a CD of the CT scan, please contact our Medical Records Department to request a release of information.



Missouri Cancer Associates is proud to offer Pylarify PET Scans.

Based on the initial diagnosis assessment or if the prostate cancer has come back (also known as a recurrence), it’s important to know if and where the prostate cancer has spread—or metastasized. That’s where imaging comes in. It can play a vital role in helping to detect and monitor prostate cancer progression. However, not all imaging scans are the same. While many of the current options—such as bone, CT, and MRI scans—provide some important information, they also have limitations.

What is Pylarify? 

PYLARIFY® is an advanced diagnostic imaging agent used with PET/CT scans to find tumors in the prostate, lymph nodes, bones, and other organs, typically better than other types of imaging scans. In May 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of PyL (PYLARIFY®) PET/CT with PyL greatly enhances the specificity and resolution of prostate cancer imaging to a degree that was unimagined just a short time ago. 

A PET scan is often combined with a CT scan for better diagnostic accuracy. Compared to conventional imaging, a PET/CT scan with PYLARIFY® (piflufolastat F 18) injection provides you and your doctor with a clearer image of where the prostate cancer is and helps your doctor make more informed treatment choices.

Is Pylarify right for me?

Pylarify is indicated for men with prostate cancer that have moved to another part of the body (metastasis) who are candidates for initial definitive therapy and also for Men with suspected recurrence of prostate cancer based on elevated serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.

How does Pylarify work?

PYLARIFY® attaches to prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), a protein found on the surface of most—approximately 95%—prostate cancer cells. By targeting PSMA, PYLARIFY® can give your doctor a clear image and additional information on the location and extent of cancer.cells. By targeting PSMA, PYLARIFY® can give your doctor a clear image and additional information on the location and the extent of the cancer.

For more information:

Patient Preparation 

There is no preparation for this exam.  You may eat and drink whatever you would like and may take your medications as prescribed by your physician. 

Hydration is recommended but not necessary.  A couple of extra glasses of fluid would be sufficient.

The exam takes a total of 2 hours.  One hour is in the prep room after injection and the scan takes approximately 30 minutes. 

If you are claustrophobic please tell your physician or nurse when you are scheduled so they can make accommodations for your claustrophobia.

What Side Effects do I need to consider? 

Side effects of PYLARIFY® were minor and rare. The most common side effects were headache (2% of patients), unusual taste (2% of patients), and fatigue (1% of patients). In addition, a hypersensitivity reaction was reported in 1 patient (0.2%) with a history of allergic reactions.

Missouri Cancer Associates maintains an accredited facility status granted by The American College of Radiology (ACR) in both PET and CT imaging. Learn more about this accreditation.

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