CT Scan Services
Computed tomography (CT), also known as Computed Axial Tomography (CAT), is a painless, sophisticated x-ray procedure. Multiple images are taken during a CT or CAT scan, and a computer compiles them into complete, cross-sectional pictures ("slices") of soft tissue, bone, and blood vessels.
A CT scan obtains images of parts of the body that cannot be seen on a standard x-ray. Therefore, these scans often result in earlier diagnosis and more successful treatment of many diseases.
A CT scan is considered to be a safe examination. While CT imaging does involve x-rays, the diagnostic benefits generally outweigh the risks of x-ray (radiation) exposure. In some CT scans, contrast agents or sedatives may be used. A contrast agent is a substance used to "highlight" an organ or tissue during examination and is sometimes referred to as a "dye." Again, the benefits of early, accurate diagnosis generally outweigh any risks.
Low-Dose CT Lung Screening Basics
A randomized clinical trial conducted by the American College of Radiology imaging Network, releasing its results in November 2010, showed that screening current and former heavy smokers with computer tomography (CT) scans, reduced their risk of dying from lung cancer by 20%. With 100 million smokers and ex-smokers in the United States and over 160,000 Americans dying yearly from lung cancer, CT lung screenings could potentially save thousands of lives annually by catching tumors at an even earlier, more treatable stage than chest x-rays.
In the 1970s, chest x-rays were used repeatedly as a screening for lung cancer; however, no evidence has been shown that chest x-rays can reduce lung cancer mortality. Chest x-rays only have the capability of detecting tumors greater than 1 centimeter in size. A CT scan detects tumors signi¬ficantly smaller than 1 centimeter in size. CT lung screenings can also provide information to physicians on cardiovascular disease, emphysema, and other pulmonary diseases.