OHC doctors use a variety of the most advanced diagnostic imaging technologies available to diagnose and treat cancer. This includes CT scan, PET scan, DEXA scan, ultrasound and MRI.
A CT scan (computed tomography) uses special X-ray equipment to obtain cross-sectional pictures of the body. In cancer care, a CT scan is used to:
- Detect or confirm the presence of a tumor
- Provide information about the size, location, and scope a tumor
- Guide a biopsy (the removal of cells or tissues for examination under a microscope)
- Help plan radiation therapy or surgery
- Determine if the cancer is responding to treatment
A PET scan (positron emission tomography) is used to detect cancer, determine the stage of cancer, and evaluate the effectiveness of treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. In a PET scan, radioactive sugar molecules are injected into the body. Cancer cells absorb sugar more quickly than normal cells, so they show up on a PET scan.
A DEXA scan measures bone density by passing X-rays through the bone. It is used to diagnose osteoporosis, which is sometimes a side effect of cancer treatments. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, your doctor may recommend a baseline DEXA scan before you start treatment and regular DEXA scans as you move through treatment. This will allow your OHC doctor to make sure your bones are staying strong and take protective measures if you do start to lose some bone.
An ultrasound allows your OHC doctor to look for tumors in certain areas of the body that don’t show up well on x-rays. Ultrasounds are usually quick, most don’t require special preparation and are often done as an outpatient procedure.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) locates cancer in the body and looks for signs that it has spread. MRI is painless and you don’t have to do anything special to get ready for this test. But, it’s very important to tell your doctor and the technologist (the person who does the test) if you have any metal in your body.
If you would like to know more about imaging services, please call us at 1-800-710-4674 and we’d be happy to schedule an appointment for you to speak with one of our care team members.