Imaging/Diagnostics & Follow-up Care
Imaging technology is often used to help create a picture of the inside of your body. It can help determine how far cancer has spread or if an abnormal area of tissue is cancerous.
Some imaging tests include:
Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan
CT scans are able to create an image of the inside of your body through the use of x-rays. These scans are extremely helpful when searching the kidneys for the presence of any tumors. Once located, the CT scan can provide information on the size and shape of the tumor.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan
MRI scans can create detailed images of the inside of your body, similar to a CT scan, except it uses powerful magnets and radio waves instead of x-rays. These scans are used less frequently for patients with kidney cancer, as CT scans are often more effective. However, this type of scan is especially useful to see if the cancer has spread to the blood vessels or the spinal cord.
Ultrasounds can create images of the inside of your body through the use of sound waves. If a kidney mass if solid or filled with fluid, an ultrasound can help detect the tumor. If a biopsy needs to be performed, an ultrasound can help your doctor guide the needle into the correct spot in the kidney.