The successful treatment of cancer rests heavily on a comprehensive evaluation and an accurate diagnosis. An evaluation would include a physical exam, an analysis of the patient’s health history, and diagnostic testing.
Accurate diagnostic testing is necessary to confirm the presence of cancer and to help plan the treatment. Diagnostic and imaging tools can also be used to monitor any progression of the disease and to check the effectiveness of treatment.
How Is Cancer Diagnosed?
Imaging tests are one of the most effective methods for diagnosing cancer and other health conditions. Scans like X-rays and MRIs help a physician to see abnormal masses or internal injuries. Imaging tests are also used to help determine whether a tumor is likely to be benign or malignant.
If a scan shows some sort of anomaly, the doctor may surgically use image-guided tools to view abnormalities inside the body, remove a small sample of tissue for biopsy, and properly stage or grade the disease if it turns out to be cancer.
Advanced Imaging Tools to Diagnose Cancer
Using state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to detect tumor cells is instrumental in the fight against cancer:
1. Digital X-Rays
Radiography is the most common diagnostic imaging tool, and it is effective in detecting cancer in its early stages. It uses electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal organs, tissues, and bones. Digital X-rays are commonly used to diagnose bone cancer and lung cancer.
In an ultrasound scan, high-frequency sound waves create images of internal organs and tissues. Although an ultrasound is widely associated with pregnancy, it is also commonly used to diagnose tumors in the reproductive system and the urinary system.
3. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRIs use a large magnet system and computer technology to produce highly detailed images of internal organs without radiation. It is commonly used to diagnose early-stage cancers.
4. Digital Mammography
Digital mammography is a low-dose X-ray of the breast that is used to diagnose breast cancers and to check for any abnormal growths in the breasts. This scan is usually followed by a biopsy to further analyze any questionable tissue.
5. PET/CT Scan
A positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging technique that, when combined, provides amazingly accurate 3-D images of organs and tissues. Both types of scans are commonly used in diagnosing and staging various cancers.
6. Nuclear Medicine
Nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures utilize a radioactive tracer and a camera to take pictures of internal tissues and organs. The tracer is first injected into a vein, and the camera can then detect areas where there may be cancerous cells. This test is commonly used for renal scans, bone scans, and thyroid scans.
Diagnostic Center in Palm Beach County
Having imaging tests done so your doctor can properly diagnose a health condition you may have can be a nerve-wracking experience. Our radiologists at Independent Imaging believe in compassionate care, and you can trust us to help you feel at ease in our facility.
We welcome you in any of our imaging facilities in Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, and Belle Glade. Call us today at (561) 795-5558 or request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you.