Advanced Imaging Tools for Cancer
At Jordan Valley Cancer Center, cancer specialists use a wide range of diagnostic imaging tools to screen for, diagnose, stage and treat cancer. These advanced imaging tools allow physicians to have a view of cancer tumors and masses that would not otherwise be possible. They can be effective in helping a radiation oncologist plan therapy or a surgical oncologist strategize a surgery.
Learn more below about some of the advanced imaging tools that are most frequently used at Jordan Valley Cancer Center. Not all scanning technologies are appropriate for every cancer and every unique patient scenario. Talk to your physician(s) or Nurse Navigator for more information.
MRI Scans for Cancer
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a painless, outpatient scan that uses magnets to create images of the soft tissues in your body that an x-ray or other imaging test may not be able to pick up on. An MRI may be useful for locating cancers, planning treatment and identifying signs of metastasized cancers. Contrast dyes are sometimes used to better visualize what’s happening inside the body – especially with cancers of the brain and spinal cord.
The typical MRI scan takes just 45 to 60 minutes and can be very effective for aiding in the planning of cancer treatment. However, these tests can be costly, so it is recommended that patients check with their insurance providers before proceeding with an MRI. Also, it is important to let your technician know if you have any metal or electronics in your body before you undergo this test.
PET Scans for Cancer
PET (positron emission tomography) scans are imaging tests that reveal the inner-workings of tissues and organs. These tests can be very helpful for detecting and evaluating many conditions, including cancer. During a PET scan, the patient is given a radioactive drug called a “tracer” in the form of a pill, inhalant, or injection. This tracer collects in areas of the body that have elevated chemical activity, which typically correlates with areas of disease, showing up as bright spots in the PET scan.
At Jordan Valley Cancer Center, a PET scan may be useful for detecting cancer and its spread, evaluating the success of a cancer treatment, and detecting cancer recurrence. While PET scans are very useful, their effectiveness may be dependent on the technician’s skill. Noncancerous conditions can mask as cancers, while other types of cancers do not appear in PET scans at all. At Jordan Valley Cancer Center, expert imaging technologists work with physicians to ensure these tools are used appropriately for maximum results. PET scans are sometimes combined with CT scans.
CT Scans for Cancer
CT (computed tomography) scans are brief, painless scans (oftentimes just 10 to 30 minutes) that reveal a cross-section or slice of the body. These images are much more comprehensive than standard x-rays, revealing bones, organs and soft tissues, which make them excellent for evaluating a tumor’s shape, size and location. The level of detail in a CT scan may even allow your physician to see blood vessels that are supplying the tumor. CT scans are commonly used to help guide a needle during biopsy.
During a CT scan, x-rays are emitted to create a view of a slice of an organ or area of the body. These images may be compiled to create a 3-D view. Sometimes, patients are given contrast dyes to help create a clearer image. These dyes may be received as a swallowed liquid, injection or enema.
At Jordan Valley Cancer Center, some patients have a CT scan as a part of Elekta Versa HD LINAC, a radiation technology provided through a partnership with Gamma West Cancer Services, the only Elekta Versa HD LINAC provider in the state of Utah. Elekta Versa HD LINAC, which is commonly used for breast, prostate and lung cancers, allows physicians to plan and target radiation therapy using new and accurate CT scans.
MRI, PET & CT Scans In West Jordan, UT
For more information about the use of diagnostic imaging technologies at Jordan Valley Cancer Center, please contact us by calling 801-601-2260.