CT scan for pleural mesothelioma
A CT (computerised tomography) scan uses x-rays and a computer to create a detailed picture of the inside of the body. Most people can go home as soon as the test is over.
Before the scan – You will be given a dye called contrast to make the pictures clearer. This is usually injected into a vein in your arm, but is sometimes given as a drink. The dye may make you feel hot all over and leave a strange taste in your mouth for a few minutes. You might also feel that you need to urinate, but this won’t last long.
During the scan – You will need to lie still on a table that moves in and out of the CT scanner, which is large and round like a doughnut. The scan takes about 30 minutes. Although the test itself is painless, lying flat and still can be uncomfortable if you already have breathlessness or pain. Let your doctor know before the scan if you have claustrophobia, as the scanner is a confined space.
What a CT scan shows – It shows the location and thickness of the tumour(s) in the chest or abdomen. It can also show if the mesothelioma has spread to other organs. The information from the CT scan is used to work out the best way to get tissue for testing (see Biopsy).
|Before having scans, tell the doctor if you have any allergies or have had a reaction to dyes during previous scans. You should also let them know if you have diabetes or kidney disease or are pregnant.|
A/Prof Brian McCaughan, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Theodora Ahilas, Principal Lawyer, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, NSW; Prof David Ball, Director, Lung Service, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Shirley Bare, Consumer; Cassandra Dickens, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Cancer Care Coordinator – Thoracic Malignancies, Sunshine Coast University Hospital, QLD; Penny Jacomos, Social Worker, Asbestos Diseases Society of South Australia, SA; A/Prof Thomas John, Medical Oncologist, Senior Clinical Research Fellow, Austin Health, and Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, VIC; Victoria Keena, Executive Officer, Asbestos Diseases Research Institute, NSW; Penny Lefeuvre, Consumer; Jocelyn McLean, Mesothelioma Support Coordinator, Asbestos Diseases Research Institute, NSW; Prof David Morris, Peritonectomy Surgeon, St George Hospital and University of New South Wales, NSW; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Western Australia; Prof Anna Nowak, Medical Oncologist, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, and Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, The University of Western Australia, WA; Prof Jennifer Philip, Palliative Care Specialist, St Vincent’s Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Royal Melbourne Hospital, VIC; Nicole Taylor, Acting Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma Cancer Specialist Nurse, The Canberra Hospital, ACT. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title. Previous editions of this title and related resources were funded in part by the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities and a donation from Lyall Watts.
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