CT Scan Diagnosis
As part of the diagnostic process, doctors often utilize various tools and methods, such as medical imaging procedures. The Computed Tomography Scan, more commonly referred to as a CT scan, is an important instrument in this process. CT scans are able to provide physicians and specialists with highly detailed information about the patient’s disease type, location and metastasis.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer, affecting the mesothelium, which is the lining surrounding vital organs such as the lungs, heart and abdomen. Mesothelioma is mainly caused by exposure to asbestos, a toxic substance that was most commonly used in construction and other industries from the 1930s through the 1970s. Although there have been regulations against asbestos in the United States since the 1970s, it can remain present in locations built previous to such legislation. Mesothelioma is not usually diagnosed until the cancer has progressed to the later stages due to the disease’s long latency periods.
FREE Mesothelioma Information
The CT scan is one of several diagnostic tests a doctor may use to determine if a patient has mesothelioma. Other diagnostic imaging procedures include PET scans, MRI scans, and X-rays. These procedures provide important information for determining an initial diagnosis, as well as assisting the physician in developing a treatment plan and evaluating the progression of that plan. A prognosis is the forecast regarding how the disease is predicted to progress over time, and the patient’s prognosis and treatment options are directly related to one another. Even after determining a diagnosis of mesothelioma, doctors may continue to use CT scans to monitor treatment effectiveness and the overall status of their patient’s disease.
CT Scan Procedure
The CT scan procedure is similar to that of an X-ray. When the test is performed, patients may also undergo a PET scan. PET scans (positron emission tomography scans), create a three dimensional image of the internal organs in question. When the two imaging tests are performed simultaneously, they help to provide detailed information such as pinpointing the location of the mesothelioma and tracking the cancer should it spread to other organs.
During the CT scan procedure, patients may receive an injection of a special dye used to enhance the image and provide finer detail. The type of doctor trained to perform and interpret results of a CT scan is known as a radiologist. Once the tests have been completed the radiologist is able to report the results to the patient’s physician and assist in further diagnosis and treatment.