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24

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Stomach Cancer, Version 1.2016

3

Preparing for treatment

Cancer tests

CT scan with contrast

CT (

c

omputed

t

omography) is used to help stage the

cancer. It is an imaging test that makes pictures of the

insides of your body. The pictures are called images.

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 CT scan of your chest, abdomen, and pelvis is

advised. A contrast dye should be used to make the

pictures clearer. The dye will be injected into your

vein and mixed with a liquid you drink.

The dye 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 in the past.

Before the scan, you may need to stop taking some

medicines, stop eating and drinking for a few hours,

and remove metal objects from your body. During

the scan, you will need to lie face up on a table that

moves through the machine.

See Figure 6

.

As the machine takes pictures, you may hear

buzzing, clicking, or whirring sounds. You will be

alone, but a technician will operate the machine in a

nearby room. He or she will be able to see, hear, and

speak with you at all times. One scan is completed in

about 30 seconds.

You will likely be able to resume your activities right

away unless you took a sedative. 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.

Figure 6.

CT machine

Pictures of the insides of your body

can be made with an imaging test.

No devices will be inserted into

your body. However, you may be

injected with and have to drink a

contrast dye. During the test, 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.