The success of cancer treatment is partially dependent on the extent of the spread of a tumor. In most cases, this determination is largely based on diagnostic imaging tests and scans. Our cancer treatment centers provide the most advanced diagnostic imaging services available.
Your doctor may order different imaging tests during to diagnose or treat your cancer. Some of the more commonly used tests include:
- Computed Tomography (CT) is a quick and painless procedure that combines x-rays with computers to produce highly detailed cross-sectional pictures of your body. The images provide valuable information for staging your cancer or planning your treatments.
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a molecular imaging procedure that generates pictures of the precise location and extent of the cancer. By imaging the molecular and physiological basis of your disease, PET enables your physicians to detect abnormal cell growth and activity. This information aids in the early detection and improved treatment of cancer.
- PET/CT is a powerful imaging tool that combines a PET (positron emission tomography) scan and a computed tomography (CT) scan. PET/CT is used to diagnose, stage, or restage your cancer, as well as evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. The images provide information about the location, nature, and size of your tumor. PET/CT is available at many locations, including Texas Center for Proton Therapy, whose PET/CT technology enables some of the fastest imaging available with the best image quality. The CT’s newer technology and faster scan times may result in less radiation exposure to patients. Its wider open design decreases claustrophobia and provides better access for larger patients and radiation therapy planning for cases requiring more space, such as breast cancer.
- MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses, and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone, and virtually all other internal body structures. Texas Center for Proton Therapy’s 3 Tesla MRI—double the strength of the clinical-setting standard—provides extremely clear and vivid images and can often be performed faster, decreasing overall scan time. It also reduces the often noisy procedure’s sound pressure by more than 70 percent. The 70 cm open bore MRI is the preferred design by claustrophobic patients, helping to reduce fear, anxiety, and the need for sedation. It enables scans of a full range of patients, including pediatric, obese, kyphotic, and those patients with respiratory, pain, and mobility issues. While located at Texas Center for Proton Therapy, non-proton therapy patients and anyone who needs MRI or PET/CT imaging for a variety of clinical reasons, including non-cancerous needs, can have scans performed.
- Some of our cancer treatment centers offer bone density screening. While useful for detecting early signs of osteoporosis and determine rate of bone loss, bone density screening does not contribute to cancer staging or follow-up.