Many times, you must have observed/ seen/ heard from your doctor, they generally ask for computed tomography (CT) scan of some part of the body before/ during / after the cancer treatment.
What is CT scan?
CT scan is nothing but a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around your body and then it uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images (slices) of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body.
Importance of CT scan imaging in staging, diagnosis, management and response to treatment in cancer care
It can show a tumor’s shape, size, and location. It shows the exact extension of the disease/tumor across the near organs, and tells us about bone involvement, encasement of blood vessels or any other major organs.
Characterizes the lymph node associated with that primary. They can even show the blood vessels that feed the tumor – all without having to cut into the patient.
In case of tumor which has spread to other organs, a CT scan is an important tool to show whether disease has gone to the lungs, bones, liver or any other major organs in the body.
Sometimes, it becomes very difficult to get a tissue diagnosis from a deep-seated tumor, where the doctor actually needs to go inside for a biopsy through a needle. In those special cases, a CT scan helps and guides the doctor to reach the tumor with the help of a needle and take a proper biopsy.
These all findings help the treating oncologist to stage the disease clinically which ultimately decides the management and prognosis (the course of medical condition) of the disease.
Helps the doctor to decide if he/she can resect the tumor with good margins or not.
It is also used as a response assessment tool where doctor compares with previous CT scans and CT scans after a certain treatment like chemotherapy or radiation or chemo-radiation. On the basis of that response, the oncologist can decide the further management.