NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Melanoma - page 23

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NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
: Melanoma
Version 1.2013
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Definitions:
Allergic reaction:
Symptoms caused when
the body is trying to rid
itself of invaders
General anesthesia:
A controlled loss of
wakefulness from drugs
Hives:
Itchy, swollen, and
red skin caused by the
body ridding itself of an
invader
Local anesthesia:
A
controlled loss of feeling
in a small area of the
body due to drugs being
administered to that area
Radiotracer:
Matter with
energy that is put into the
body to make pictures
clearer
Part 2: Overview of cancer tests
Figure 8. Computed tomography scan
PET scan
A PET (
p
ositron
e
mission
t
omography) scan shows how your cells are using a
simple form of sugar. To create pictures, a sugar radiotracer first needs to be put
into your body. The radiotracer lets out a small amount of energy that is seen by
the machine that takes pictures. Cancer cells use sugar faster than normal cells,
so they look brighter in the pictures. However, some areas of the body naturally
use large amounts of sugar. Thus, false alarms on PET scans are common. For
this reason, positive PET scan results should be checked against other imaging
or biopsy test results. Sometimes a PET scan is given along with a CT scan,
called a PET/CT scan.
Acronyms:
FNA =
Fine-needle
aspiration
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