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17

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma, Version 1.2016

2

Treatment planning

Imaging tests

Imaging tests

Imaging tests make pictures (images) of the inside

of your body. They can show where the cancer is in

your body. This information helps your doctors stage

the cancer. More information on cancer staging is

described later in this chapter.

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.

Figure 2.1

shows one type of imaging

machine, which is described next.

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 see

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

in reading the images.

Diagnostic CT

A CT (

c

omputed

t

omography) of your chest, belly

area, and between your hip bones is 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.

A contrast dye is 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.

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 bad

reactions to contrast.

PET/CT

Another imaging test combines CT with PET (

p

ositron

e

mission

t

omography). PET/CT may be given in

addition to or 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

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.