NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Breast Cancer – Metastatic (STAGE IV), Version 2.2017
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. Certain imaging tests also reveal some
features of a tumor and its cells.
A radiologist is a doctor who’s an expert in reading
images. Your radiologist will convey the imaging
results to your cancer doctor. This information helps
your doctor decide what the next steps of care
Your treatment team will tell you how to prepare
for these tests. You may need to stop taking some
medicines and stop eating and drinking for a few
hours before the scan. Tell your team if you get
nervous when in small spaces. You may be given a
medicine called a sedative to help you relax.
Some imaging tests use contrast. Contrast is a dye
that will be injected into your bloodstream. It makes
the pictures clearer. Some people have an allergic
reaction to the dye. Tell your doctor if you’ve had
problems with contrast in the past.
Chest diagnostic CT scan
omography) with contrast of your
chest is advised. This scan takes many pictures
of a body part from different angles using x-rays.
A computer combines the x-ray images to make a
detailed picture. During the scan, you will need to lie
face up on a table that moves through the machine.
See Figure 5.
Abdomen ± pelvis diagnostic scans
A scan of your abdomen is advised. Your doctor may
also want a scan of your pelvis. Either diagnostic CT
or MRI (
maging) with contrast
may be used.
MRI is an imaging test that uses a magnetic field and
radio waves to make pictures. Before the scan, you
Figure 5. CT machine
Pictures of the insides of your body can
be made with an imaging test. During the
scan, you will lie on a table that will move
into the tunnel of the imaging machine.
The pictures will be viewed by a doctor
who will look for signs of cancer.
Copyright © 2016 National Comprehensive Cancer Network