A regular medical checkup might not catch every health problem. Even an X-ray can miss things, especially if there's a problem with your internal organs or arteries. A CT scan, on the other hand, is a great method for doctors to do a true full body scan. If you meet certain risk factors, a CT scan should be part of your new year's checkup. Early detection of disease is the best means of increasing survival rates.
CT Scan Procedure
Most CT scans are performed the same way. The patient lies on a flat table, which moves into a large body-length tube. The machine then creates a full body image, with detailed scans of internal organs. Sometimes the patient is injected with a contrast dye in order to give a better view of arteries or certain organs.
A heart scan is useful for men over 35 and women over 40 if they have high blood pressure or cholesterol, or a genetic history of heart disease. A heart scan mainly detects calcification of the arteries and can also detect heart cancer.
A CT scan of the lungs is recommended for smokers, workers who have been exposed to asbestos and others who meet certain risk factors for lung cancer. The scan looks for early stage lung cancer.
CT Angiography (CTA)
A CT angiography is a scan that examines the large veins and arteries throughout the body, including inside the brain. The scan looks for diseases of the aorta and pulmonary arteries, the carotid artery, kidney vessels and other key vessels. A contrast dye is injected for this scan. People at risk for conditions that involve the blood vessels should opt for a CTA.
A brain scan is recommended for anyone suffering from symptoms of a mild stroke or other conditions. Headaches, confusion, sudden behavioral changes, or a suspected aneurism or bleeding in the brain are all warning signs that call for a head scan. The CT scan can provide detailed images of brain tissue and bone structure to help in a diagnosis.
If you are interested in receiving more information about scans you should consider, click here to find a scan specialist in your area!