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Cancer is a frightening disease that millions of people around the world will get at some point in their lives. It is caused by a mutation of the cells within the body, which causes tumours to form and grow, sometimes rapidly, before spreading to other parts of the body and leading to death. While the medical world has made many advancements in terms of treatments that people can receive to get into a state of remission, scientists have also been able to come up with myriad new diagnostic tools that are helping doctors diagnose the disease in its early stages and target the right treatment for the many different forms of cancer out there. It is no surprise, therefore, that so many people are getting the education they need to enter the medical field so that they can help people fight cancer.
Continue reading for three commonly used modern diagnostic tools that can properly screen for cancer.
An ultrasound is a quick, non-invasive way to take a look at what is going on in a part of the body, such as the ovaries or the breasts and to determine if there are any cysts or tumours there that need to be taken care of. The device utilises sound waves that create images that help doctors determine whether a mass is something to worry about or not. Many times, women who undergo mammograms to detect cancerous lumps will also have an ultrasound done in order to get a different look at the masses and to determine if a mass is just a cyst or other benign lump. And the newest forms of ultrasound technology actually produce 3D images without the need for any radiation.
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. These machines produce cross-section images of the inside of your body. Unlike CT scans, an MRI machine utilises strong magnets in place of radiation, yet it is great at helping to diagnose whether a mass is cancerous or not. When combined with a contrast dye, a doctor can get an even better view of what is going on in a specific part of the body.
CT scans are also known as CAT scans and CT stands for computerised tomography. Using x-ray equipment, these machines are able to detect abnormal growths and tumours and the results provided by these scans can help doctors better gauge what stage the cancer is in. Some people are concerned about the fact that these machines expose individuals to ionising radiation, which can actually lead to cancer. But the benefits of properly screening an at-risk individual or someone who has already been diagnosed with cancer and is checking on treatment results outweigh the risks.
Modern technology is making it easier to detect cancer in individuals around the world. From MRIs to CT Scans and more, it is no wonder that more people want to know how to use these machines professionally so that they can help people get the proper diagnosis and treatment they need to overcome this terrible disease.
The author of the article, Nancy Baker, is a freelance blogger who is currently writing for Pharmaceutical Science College of Canada, a leading institute in the medical fraternity. She enjoys reading and researching on various topics. You can also follow her on Twitter @Nancy Baker.