Computed tomography (CT) is a diagnostic procedure that uses special x-ray equipment to obtain cross-sectional pictures of the body. The CT computer displays these pictures as detailed images of organs, bones, and other tissues. This procedure is also called CT scanning, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography (CAT).
How is CT used in cancer?
Computed tomography is used in several ways:
- To detect or confirm the presence of a tumor;
- To provide information about the size and location of the tumor and whether it the cancer has spread;
- To guide a biopsy (the removal of cells or tissues for examination under a microscope);
- To help plan cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy or surgery; and
- To determine whether the cancer is responding to treatment.