Radiology/Imaging: Imaging Tests
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Specific imaging tests
At CTCA, you will receive a full array of tests and scans for any part of the body. The goal is to locate, and ultimately eradicate, the cancer. The radiology team is experienced in evaluating and treating a broad range of cancer types and stages.
Some of the specific imaging technologies and tools the Department of Radiology/Imaging provides include the following:
- X-Ray: A type of high-energy electromagnetic radiation. X-rays can be used to construct internal images of the inside of the body for cancer diagnosis and staging. X-rays can also be used in radiation therapy to help destroy cancerous cells in the body.
- Ultrasound: A versatile imaging technology that uses high-energy sound waves to construct precise images of internal organs and tissues within the body. Some uses for ultrasound include cancer diagnosis and staging, determining the location of cancerous tissue before a procedure, or to directly destroying cancerous cells (e.g., through treatments such as local hyperthermia).
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An imaging technique used to create detailed, cross-sectional pictures of the inside of the body. Using radiofrequency waves, powerful magnets, and a computer, MRI systems are able to distinguish between normal and diseased tissue. Thus, MRI plays an important role in cancer diagnosis and staging, and is especially useful in revealing metastases.
- Computed tomography (CT) scan: An x-ray procedure that uses a computer to generate three-dimensional, cross-sectional images of the body. CT scans are frequently used in cancer diagnosis and treatment to pinpoint the location and size of the cancer in the body.
CT scans can be used before, during and after cancer treatment to measure whether the cancer is progressing or regressing.
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET)/CT scan: A sophisticated nuclear scanning technique used to create detailed, computerized pictures of areas inside the body by combining two imaging tests. The combined PET/CT scan can provide a more complete picture of a tumor’s location and growth or spread than either test alone. It may also reduce the number of additional imaging tests and other procedures needed.
- Nuclear medicine imaging: A branch of radiology that involves administering very small amounts of radioactive substances (radiopharmaceuticals) to patients (by injection, inhalation, or pill) to examine organ and tissue structure and function, and to help diagnose various conditions. The extent to which a radiopharmaceutical is absorbed by a particular body tissue or organ may indicate the level of function.
- Bone scan: An imaging technique where a small dose of radioactive material in injected into the bloodstream, gathers in the bones, and is detected by a scanner through nuclear imaging. By capturing images of bones on a computer screen or on film, bone scans can reveal the location of cancer that may have spread to the bones. Bone scans are also a helpful diagnostic technique used to check for bone injuries, arthritis, infection, bone diseases, tumors, or metastasis.
- Multiple-Gated Acquisition (MUGA) scan: A test used to assess the function of the heart. This noninvasive procedure works by injecting small amounts of radioactive substances into the bloodstream, which are then picked up by the MUGA scan to produce what is, in essence, a "movie" of the working heart. MUGA scans may be used to monitor changes in heart function that may occur as a side effect of chemotherapy drugs.
- Miraluma Breast Imaging: A nuclear medicine test used to detect cancer cells in the breasts. In this non-invasive test, the patient receives a small amount of a radioactive substance by injection and a Gamma camera takes pictures of the breasts. Miraluma is used by radiologists as an adjunct to mammography. It can produce pictures of malignant lesions, even in the midst of dense and fibrous breast tissue, and reduce the number of breast biopsies performed.
In addition, Eastern is constantly purchasing software upgrades in order to have the latest technology available. When purchasing new equipment, we keep your best interests in mind.