If a doctor suspects that a patient may have a tumor, there are several methods health care professionals can use to spot tumors, measure their growth and density, and determine whether the tumor tissue may be cancerous. Some of the most common diagnostic imaging tools include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and colonoscopy.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
An MRI can be used in multiple areas of the body to look through the skin and provide images of the internal body organs. This type of imaging gives health care professionals quite a bit of detail about what body organs look like and what their measurements are, which makes it especially useful for pinpointing information about tumors in the body. The images that result from MRI technology can be stored digitally in a picture archiving and communication system and easily shared with patients and/or other providers.
A colonoscopy is a specific type of imaging used to detect polyps, or growths, in the colon. The procedure consists of a tube with a camera attached to the end being placed into a patient’s rectum. The doctor will then look at all the colon tissue for abnormalities. Many times, polyps end up being benign and not causing any harm in the patient, but doctors tend to remove polyps and take biopsies of them to check for signs of malignancy since colon cancer is a very common type of cancer.
Diagnostic tools available to health care professionals continue to improve, which may be of great benefit to patients suffering from a variety of ailments and will hopefully help even more patients in the future. With tools such as MRI and colonoscopy, providers are able to visualize tumors and other abnormalities in the body’s tissue and determine much more information about the body than they would be able to with just the naked eye.