Lung Cancer and CAT Scans
CAT scans are used in lung cancer cases. CAT scans can be performed on the chest, abdomen, and/or brain to examine for both metastatic and primary tumor.
A CAT scan of the chest may be ordered when x-rays are negative or do not yield sufficient information about the extent or location of a tumor.
CAT scans are x-ray procedures that combine multiple images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views of the body. The images are taken by a large donut-shaped x-ray machine at different angles around the body.
One advantage of CAT scans is that they are more sensitive than standard chest x-rays in the detection of lung nodules. Sometimes intravenous contrast material is given prior to the procedure to help delineate the organs and their positions.
A CAT scan exposes the patient to a minimal amount of radiation. The most common side effect is an adverse reaction to intravenous contrast material that may have been given prior to the procedure. There may be resulting itching, a rash, or hives that generally disappear quickly.
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