An imaging test is a way to let the physician see what is going on inside your body. These tests send forms of energy such as x-rays, sound waves, radioactive particles, or magnetic fields through your body. Your body tissues change the energy patterns to make an image. These images show how your insides look and work so that the physician can see changes that may be caused by cancer.
MRI creates cross-section pictures of the inside of your body and uses strong magnets to make the images. An MRI scan takes cross-sectional views from many angles, as if someone were looking at a slice of your body from the front, from the side, or from above your head. MRI creates pictures of soft tissue parts of the body that are sometimes hard to see using other imaging tests.
MRI is very good at finding and pinpointing some cancers. Using MRI, doctors can sometimes tell if a tumor is or isn’t cancer. MRI can also be used to look for signs that cancer may have metastasized from where it started to another part of the body.
MRI images can also help doctors plan treatment such as surgery or radiation therapy.
This advanced nuclear imaging technique combines positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) into one machine. A PET/CT scan reveals information about both the structure and function of cells and tissues in the body during a single imaging session.
During a PET/CT scan, the patient is first injected with a glucose solution that contains a very small amount of radioactive material. The substance is absorbed by the particular organs or tissues being examined. The PET/CT scanner is then able to "see" damaged or cancerous cells where the glucose is being taken up and the rate at which the tumor is using the glucose.
The images are captured in a single scan which provides a high level of accuracy.