Diagnostic imaging services are used to confirm the presence of cancer, monitor the cancer’s progression, and plan for and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. Diagnostic procedures for cancer may include imaging, laboratory tests (including tests for tumor markers), tumor biopsy, endoscopic examination, surgery, or genetic testing.
Computed tomography, or CT, is a diagnostic procedure that uses unique x-ray equipment to acquire cross-sectional images of the body. The CT scan displays these detailed images of the organs, bones, and other tissues onto a computer screen. CT scans are used in several ways in the treatment and diagnosis of cancer to:
- Detect or confirm the presence of a tumor
- Provide information on the size and location of the tumor
- Help plan radiation therapy or surgery
- Evaluate the effectiveness of treatment
Positron Emission Tomography, or PET, is a medical imaging procedure that produces a 3D image of processes within the body. The PET test uses a radioactive chemical (tracer) that is injected into a vein in the arm. This allows the chemical to move throughout the body and collect in the specific organ where cells are showing a lot of energy, such as cancer cells. Once these cells are located, a special type of camera will record the data, and change the recording into images on a computer.