what types of imaging tests are used to diagnose cancer?
bone scans and PET scans (combined with CAT scan)
what is a bone scan?
inject the person with radioactive dye, have them come back in 3 hours and look for the presence of active metabolism in the bone. will be done if suspected metastasis in bone (e.g. lung, breast, prostate)
how does a PET scan work for diagnosing cancer?
PET= positron emission tomography. inject or inhale radioactive tracer, then have a CAT scan. Tumors are hypermetabolic (fast-growing) so will take up more of the tracer.
When is a PET scan helpful?
When you suspect a tumor, but have not been able to find the primary site.
what is a biopsy?
look at a sample of the tissue itself and grade it
how are tumors graded?
ranges from normal, well-differentiated tissue to undifferentiated tissue that doesn't look at all like the parent tissue