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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Mycosis Fungoides, Version 1.2016


Treatment planning

Imaging tests

Imaging tests

Imaging tests make pictures (images) of the insides

of your body. They can show which sites have cancer.

This information helps your doctors stage the cancer.

More information on cancer staging is in Part 4. Not

everyone with mycosis fungoides needs an imaging

test. Imaging is advised for people with significant

skin lesions, large-cell transformed subtype,

folliculotropic subtype, enlarged lymph nodes, or

abnormal blood tests.

Your treatment team will tell you how to prepare for

the test. You may need to stop taking some medicines

and stop eating and drinking for a few hours before the

scan. Tell your doctors if you get nervous when in small

spaces. You may be given a sedative to help you relax.

Imaging machines are large. You will likely be lying

down during testing. At least part of your body will be

in the machine. A picture of one type of an imaging

machine is shown in

Figure 2.1


After the test, you will likely be able to resume your

activities right away. If you took a sedative, you will

have a waiting period. You may not learn of the

results for a few days since a radiologist needs to

review the pictures. A radiologist is a doctor who’s an

expert in reading x-ray images.

Diagnostic CT

A CT (




omography) scan of your body

may be needed. CT takes many pictures of a body

part from different angles using x-rays. A computer

combines the x-rays to make detailed pictures of your

internal organs.

A contrast dye is often used for diagnostic CT. It

makes the pictures clearer. The dye will be injected

into a vein in your hand or arm. You will also be given

a liquid contrast to drink to highlight your bowels.

The contrast may cause you to feel flushed or get

hives. Rarely, serious allergic reactions occur. Tell

your doctor and the technicians if you have had

problems with contrast in the past.


Another imaging test combines CT with PET (






omography). PET/CT of your whole body

may be given instead of CT. It can show the presence

of cancer when other tests do not.

For PET, a sugar radiotracer will be injected into

your body. The radiotracer is detected with a special

camera. Cancer cells appear brighter than normal

cells because they use sugar more quickly. PET/CT

may be done with one or two machines depending on

the cancer center.

Figure 2.1 Computed tomography machine

A CT machine is large and has a tunnel in the middle.

During the test, you will lie on a table that moves

slowly through the tunnel.