If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, you have probably received multiple CT scans during treatment.
The cross-sectional images of bones, soft tissue, and blood vessels produced by CT scans are vital in diagnosing and treating cancer. CT scans are routinely used in radiotherapy or radiation treatment.
Doctors utilize CT scans to determine how much and which tissue to treat with radiation to reduce cancerous tumors. Doctors use CT scans to create margins around tumors to make sure the entire area of cancer is treated.
Healthy tissue can be exposed to radiation during treatment, adding further damage. The use of CT scans and other imaging allows doctors to plan for precise treatment as not to damage unaffected tissue.
Researchers at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust have studied if a combination of CT scans and ultrasound could provide more detailed images for planning cervical cancer treatment.
Cervical cancer treatment often includes large margins around the tumor as movement causes tumors to shift. These margins created by CT scans prevent unwanted side effects of radiation.
The study showed combining CT scan and ultrasound produced more detail images than either scan alone. Researchers compared cone beam CT scans of 11 women diagnosed with cervical cancer and found both images provided better outlines for improved treatment.
A combination of CT scans and ultrasound allows for doctors to view regions that might not be visible on the other.