CAT Scans CAT scans are acquired by using x-rays as well as computers. These produce images of cross-sections of your body. These images allow your doctor to verify the enlarged or swollen lymph nodes that indicate the spread of cancer.
Commonly, a CAT scan is used only if the stage of cancer looks aggressive or large or is coupled with a high level of PSA. Before a CAT scan you may have to undergo an initial blood test. This is recommended so that your test is not delayed. It is advisable to drink clear liquids before the scanning process.
Clear liquids such as strained fruit juices, tea, black coffee, tomato juice, strained vegetable soup and ginger ale can be taken before scanning. It is suggested that you arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time of your CAT scan. It is ideal to stop eating or drinking four hours before your scan. In certain cases, before scanning, you may be advised to drink a special solution. You can continue your medications as usual and should consult your doctor if you have further questions.
You may be requested to remove your jewelry and watch as well as change into a hospital gown, because zippers and snaps can interfere with scan. However, you should not hurry, allow yourself at least one hour, though it takes only 15 minutes for this process to complete. Your physician will determine which specific areas of your body that he or she wants the CAT scan performed on. A dye is injected so that the radiologist can view the body structures that are being scanned clearly on the image. Once the dye is administered you may experience a flushed feeling. In the event that you experience shortness of breath or some other unusual symptoms, tell your technician immediately.
You will be asked to lie on an exam table, the table will automatically move for the imaging. It is suggested that you lie still during the entire process as movements could lead to blurred images. In some instances you may be requested to hold your breath while the image is being taken.
The CAT scan is a small process consuming very little time. You can return to your routine activities and eat as usual. CAT scans help in detecting liver and lung metastases. These scans can be upgraded by using iodinated contrast material as it allows you to detect perfusion as well as the concentration in the kidney. A CAT scan is useful in assessing abdominal solid masses in children.
A genitourinary tumor suspected in a child can be found in a CAT scan. A CAT scan exposes a significant amount of radiation to any child. The abdominal masses among children are found in the urinary tract and are cystic.
Initially, children undergo an ultrasound exam. But, CAT scans are sensitive in comparing the renal function of two kidneys and mostly children are given sedation before undergoing a CAT scan. Generally, CAT scans are considerably expensive, but the results are effective. Patients prefer this process because it is painless and quicker than other scanning procedures.
Jason Smythe is author of this article on CT Scan. Find more information about Bone Density Test here.