NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Mycosis Fungoides, Version 1.2016
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
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.
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
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.