Cochise Oncology

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What Is a CT Scan?

Have you ever wondered, “What is a CT scan” but didn’t know the answer? This article takes a look at the innovative CT scan technology and answers that question for you.  

A CT scan is a valuable diagnostic tool that we use at Cochise Oncology to detect cancer and other diseases.

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What Is a CT Scan? 

A computed tomography scan, commonly known as a CT scan or CAT scan, is a quick, painless, non-invasive imaging test that allows doctors to see inside your body. It uses advanced X-ray technology to produce images of blood vessels, internal organs, bones, and soft tissue.

The CT scan is used on areas such as the head, chest, abdomen, and pelvis. The images are taken at different angles and provide cross-sectional views of the scanned tissue. A CT scan is often required when an x-ray is inconclusive as it gives more detailed information.

What is a CT Scan Used For?

A CT scan is used to detect diseases and assess injuries. It examines patients with chronic symptoms such as abdominal pain, chest pain, or difficulty breathing. It also helps to identify various types of cancer.

The physicians at Cochise Oncology use CT scans in cancer treatment to show the size and shape of a tumor and pinpoint its location.   

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How is a CT Scan Performed?     

The CT scanner is a large donut-shaped machine with a tunnel in the middle. It has a motorized exam table that slides back and forth.

Before the scan, patients have to change into a gown and remove all jewelry. The CT scan may require contrast material, which is given orally or intravenously. The contrast material highlights specific tissues in the images. This makes it easier to distinguish select internal structures and improves the visibility of select blood vessels, organs, or tissues.

You will be positioned on the exam table and required to lie still as you move through the scanner. Several x-ray beams rotate around you during the scan taking pictures from different angles. A special computer program captures and processes the data and creates cross-sectional images of your body.

The images from the CT scan are sent to a radiologist for analysis. CT scans are quick, easy, and painless.

How Long Does a CT Scan Take? 

The length of the CT scan varies based on the area being examined. However, most exams take 20-30 minutes.

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Benefits of a CT Scan 

CT scans are integral to what we do here at Cochise Oncology because they provide us with clear, detailed images of your internal organs and structures, so we can make an accurate diagnosis. 

CT scans are quick and straightforward, and this makes them ideal for emergencies.

Are There Any Risks? 

CT scans use ionizing radiation, so they expose you to a small level of radiation, but the benefit of an accurate diagnosis far outweighs the minimal risk.

When reliable medical imaging tests are needed, CT scans provide critical information doctors need to diagnose diseases and make the best possible treatment decisions. 

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