What is a CT scan?
Computed tomography (CT) scan (also known as a computed axial tomography scan, or CAT scan) is one of the most commonly used tools for the screening, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
A CT scan is an X-ray procedure that uses a computer to produce three-dimensional, cross-sectional images of inside the body. Unlike conventional X-rays, CT scans provide exceptionally detailed images of the bones, organs and tissues. X-rays are taken from many angles and combined to create a cross-sectional image.
During a CT scan, a patient rests on a table and slides into a large tunnel-shaped scanner. Some exams require a contrast dye to be injected into a vein before the procedure. This helps certain areas show up better on the images. The procedure is painless and typically takes a few minutes.
A CT scan may be used to pinpoint the location of a tumor, evaluate the extent of cancer in the body and assess whether the disease is responding to treatment. In some cases, CT technology is used to accurately guide cancer treatment during a procedure.