Treatments, Tests, and Procedures
Learn more about the specific medical tests and procedures used to diagnose and treat cancer.
This article is part of a series on common diagnostic tests that tells you how to prepare for the procedure, what happens during the examination, and what to expect after the test is done. A computed tomography (CT) scan, also called a CAT scan, is a diagnostic exam used to detect tumors, determine the stage of the disease and whether cancerous cells have spread, and find out about the effectiveness of cancer treatment.
This article is part of a series on common diagnostic tests that tells you how to prepare for the procedure, what happens during the examination, and what to expect after the test is done. A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is a diagnostic examination used to detect cancer, determine the stage of cancer, and evaluate the effectiveness of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
This article is part of a series on common diagnostic tests that tells you how to prepare for the procedure, what happens during the examination, and what to expect after the test is done. An integrated PET-CT scan combines the images from a positron emission tomography (PET) scan and a computed tomography (CT) scan, performed at the same time on the same machine. Together, the two scans create a more complete image than either test can offer alone.
Hormone therapy is a treatment option for women with early-stage, hormone-sensitive breast cancer, identified by the presence of hormone receptors. Hormone therapy lowers the risk of recurrence (cancer that returns after treatment) by blocking tumor growth caused by hormones so that cancer cells either die or remain inactive. To learn more about women’s options for hormone therapy and what they should know, Cancer.Net talked with Clifford A. Hudis, MD.
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) and an echocardiogram (also known as an echo) are tests that check your heart function and identify any issues that might be present. Some people with cancer who receive chemotherapy may need one of these tests, or a multigated acquisition (MUGA) scan, before cancer treatment to identify pre-existing heart conditions or during and after cancer treatment to identify chemotherapy-related heart damage.
A growing area of cancer research, called cancer genome research, compares genes found in tumors and genes found in healthy tissue in order to understand how these genes differ and which ones are important. To do this, researchers collect samples from all types of tumors to find out a tumor’s genetic “fingerprint” and then compare it to the fingerprints of healthy tissue from the same person. Different genes are involved in different tumor types, and understanding what genes are important to the development of cancer may lead to improvements in detecting, diagnosing, and treating cancer.
A multigated acquisition (MUGA) scan checks to see if your heart is pumping blood properly. Some people with cancer receiving chemotherapy may need to have this test during their cancer treatment.