A surgeon may use CT scans to look at all sides of a tumour to prepare for an operation. Some areas of the body that are examined with a CT scan are the chest, the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system.
CT scans are also used to detect joint problems and internal injuries; or analyse if cancer treatments are working for a patient.
What is CT Scan
- A Computed Tomography (CT) scan shows more detail than a regular X-ray and can be used for any part of the body. Involving a narrow X-ray beam that circles around one part of the body, a CT scan shows the bones, organs and soft tissues more clearly than X-rays.
- A CT scan uses an X-ray machine to take several pictures from different angles, providing a highly detailed cross-sectional image. This process is repeated to produce a number of images to create a 3D picture. The computer stacks these scans one on top of the other to create a detailed image of a patient’s organs or bones.
Differences betweeen X-rays and CT Scan
- During a CT scan, a patient lies on a table inside a large, doughnut-shaped CT machine. As the table slowly moves through the scanner, the X-rays rotate around the patient’s body. A whirring or buzzing noise is usually heard.
- While X-rays consist of images in 2D formats and are usually used to detect fractures and tumours, 3D pictures from CT scans can be used to identify location of internal bleeding and monitor effectiveness of certain treatments.
How CT Scan support Cancer Treatment
- CT scans play a fundamental role in cancer treatment. They are regularly used to plan radiotherapy to support doctors in deciding the amount of tissue to be exposed to the radiation treatment. This allows for more precise and effective treatment.
- Doctors also compare CT scans over time to see how a tumour is responding to treatment.
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