Diagnosing Cancer with an Abdomen CT Scan

February 22, 2018 – 3 min read

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If your doctor suspects that you have cancer near your abdomen, they may recommend an abdomen CT scan. To help you prepare, here’s a look at what to expect and an overview of the types of cancer you can detect in this scan.


What’s an Abdomen CT Scan?

CT scans use computed tomography to create an image of what’s happening inside your body. With an abdomen CT scan, the images show cross sections of the organs in your belly or mid-section. This is similar to a pelvis CT scan.


What Happens During an Abdomen CT Scan?

Typically, with an abdomen CT scan, the scan happens while you are lying down, and the imaging professional may ask you to place your hands over your head. While you are lying there, the scanning equipment moves around you. That allows the X-rays to get the images they need.

To ensure the scans are as clear as possible, you need to hold still during the process. Moving can make the images blurry. In some cases, the technician may even ask you to hold your breath for a couple of seconds.

Additionally, some abdomen CT scans require contrast. This is a special solution that makes the images show up more clearly in the scan. You may have to drink the contrast or have it injected into your veins.


How Do Medical Professionals Use CT Scans?

Once the scan is complete, the doctor can look at the images on a computer screen hooked to the scanning equipment, but in some cases, they may print various images so that they can get a better look and you can see what’s happening as well.


What Cancers Can You Detect With an Abdomen CT Scan?

Doctors can use an abdomen CT scan to diagnose a range of different cancers that can happen in that part of your body. This includes the following types of cancer:

  • Renal or kidney cancer
  • Transitional cell cancer of the renal pelvis and ureter
  • Colon cancer
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma or malignancy of the liver
  • Lymphoma or cancer of the lymphatic system
  • Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Cervical and endometrial cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pheochromocytoma or cancer of the adrenal glands


In addition, an abdomen CT scan can also determine if cancers in other parts of your body have spread to this region.

However, abdomen CT scans aren’t just used to diagnose cancer. These scans can also pick up a number of issues in your abdomen including gallbladder issues, liver problems, or pancreatic issues.


Why Should You Get an Abdomen CT Scan?

When it comes to cancer, early detection is key. The earlier you detect the cancer, the easier it is to treat. In contrast, if cancer spreads before you detect it, treatment can be very difficult.


If your doctor has recommended an abdomen CT scan, make an appointment with American Health Imaging today. We provide high quality scans for our patients in a compassionate environment with highly trained staff members. If you are a doctor who wants to set up a scan for a patient, you can also contact us directly.