MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging
An MRI test produces detailed computer generated images of organs and structures in the body such as the brain, bones and spine. The MRI machine uses strong magnetic fields and radio frequencies to create a series of high definition images called “sequences,” that are then interpreted by our board certified radiologists. The Unity Cancer Center has a 1.5T MRI as well as a 3T MRI, which is the strongest currently available.
The 3T MRI is non-invasive, twice as powerful as and significantly faster than a standard MRI scanner, improving patient comfort and image clarity. MRIs enable us to offer precise diagnoses, better pre-surgical planning and enhanced patient care.
An Ultrasound test creates images of parts of the body by using reflected high-frequency sound waves. The process is painless, quick and non-invasive. There’s no radiation or harmful side effects, which is why it’s often used for prenatal imaging. Ultrasounds can also be used to scan the pelvis and abdomen, the male reproductive system, the kidney and thyroid.
Our iU22 four-dimensional Ultrasound is the most advanced ultrasound system available. It provides detailed live-action images that are so realistic it’s like holding the organ or tissue in your hand. Analyzing the four-dimensional Ultrasound images helps physicians identify pre-cancerous lesions in the breast and ovaries, and allows them to be treated before they develop into cancer.
PET Scan: Positron Emission Tomography
A PET scan is a highly specialized imaging technique that uses radioactive substances to produce three-dimensional colored images. The amount of radiation exposure is equal to about two chest x-rays. The scans show changes in structure and function within tissues and organs. PET scans provide physiological information not found on CAT scans or MRI scans.
Whole body PET scans help physicians diagnose and stage cancer, while follow-up scans can show if cancer has spread, or how well a cancer is responding to treatment. Non-invasive PET scans spare some patients the need for a biopsy or surgery.
Advanced CT (CAT) Scan: Computed Axial Tomography
A CT scan uses advanced x-rays to produce pictures of cross-sections, or “slices,” of the body. The CT shows areas regular x-rays can’t see such as inside of the brain, muscles and organs. This makes it possible to diagnose some diseases sooner and more accurately than with other imaging tools.
A CT scan is a non-invasive procedure. Exams will differ depending on what part of the body is studied. Although patients must hold their breath during the test to prevent blurred images, advances in multi-slice CT scans make them significantly faster and cut that time significantly.
Digital mammography uses advanced equipment and computer technology to create high resolution images that can be saved electronically. The images can be looked at from different angles and enhanced by altering brightness, contrast, magnification, etc. This allows radiologists to see certain areas more clearly and find tiny abnormalities before traditional mammography would show them and sometimes years before they would be discovered by self-exam.
Because early diagnosis is the best treatment for breast cancer, digital mammography is an important life-saving technology. It’s also quick because there is no film to process, so exams take less time. In addition, digital mammography is considered to be more accurate for women with denser breast tissue.
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The area’s premier breast diagnostic program makes early detection a priority.