CT scan for bladder cancer
A CT (computerised tomography) scan uses x-rays and a computer to create a detailed picture of the inside of the body.
A scan of the urinary system may be called a CT urogram, CT IVP (intravenous pyelogram) or a triple-phase abdomen and pelvis CT – these are different names for the same test. Some people have a CT scan of other areas of the body to see if the cancer has spread.
CT scans are usually done at a hospital or a radiology clinic. When you make the appointment for the scan, you will be given instructions to follow about what you can eat and drink before the scan.
As part of the procedure, a dye (the contrast) is injected into one of your veins. The dye travels through your bloodstream to the kidneys, ureters and bladder, and helps show up abnormal areas more clearly.
The scan is usually done three times: once before the dye is injected, once immediately afterwards, and then again a bit later. The dye may make you feel hot all over and cause some discomfort in the abdomen. Symptoms should ease quickly, but tell the person doing the scan if you feel unwell.
During the scan, you will need to lie still on a table that moves in and out of the scanner, which is large and round like a doughnut. The whole procedure takes 30–45 minutes.
Before having scans, tell the doctor if you have any allergies or have had a reaction to contrast (dye) during previous scans. You should also let them know if you have diabetes or kidney disease or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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Prof Dickon Hayne, Professor of Urology, UWA Medical School, The University of Western Australia, Chair of the Bladder, Urothelial and Penile Cancer Subcommittee, ANZUP Cancer Trials Group, and Head of Urology, South Metropolitan Health Service, WA; A/Prof Tom Shakespeare, Director, Radiation Oncology, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Lismore Public Hospitals, NSW; Helen Anderson, Genitourinary Cancer Nurse Navigator (CNS), Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; BEAT Bladder Cancer Australia; Mark Jenkin, Consumer; Dr Ganessan Kichenadasse, Lead, SA Cancer Clinical Network, Commission of Excellence and Innovation in Health, and Medical Oncologist, Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, SA; A/Prof James Lynam, Medical Oncology Staff Specialist, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Jack McDonald, Consumer; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Tara Redemski, Senior Physiotherapist – Cancer and Blood Disorders, Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; Prof Shomik Sengupta, Consultant Urologist, Eastern Health and Professor of Surgery, Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University, VIC.
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