“Cancer tests can be scary but they’re so kind and friendly that I stay calm. I know that they’ll take great care of me no matter what the results are.”
We have onsite radiology imaging (PET and CT scans) and a lab to help make diagnostic tests timely and convenient. Whether you’re coming to us because your doctor suspects you may have cancer or if you’ve already been diagnosed we’re here to help you through the process. We’ll ease your mind by explaining everything that will happen, how long things will take and when you will hear the results.
Time frames for lab tests or scan results are:
- Medical imaging/scans: 48 hours
- Tumor markers: 48 hours
- Bone marrow: 5-7 days
- Pathology reports: 3-5 days
You may need regular blood or urine tests throughout your treatment to learn more about how your cancer is affecting other parts of your body. These tests give us valuable information to help us know how best to treat you and keep you as healthy as possible during the treatment process. We can:
- Establish baseline measurements before you begin treatment so we can compare future treatments to your original results
- Determine which treatment may be appropriate
- Verify that a treatment has been effective
- Find subtle changes during routine check-ups before you develop symptoms of a disease
- Find clues that may indicate the reason you are experiencing symptoms
- Monitor the cancer to see if it has gotten better, stayed the same or gotten worse
An integrated PET/CT scan is the most advanced imaging technology for the detection and evaluation of cancer. A PET/CT scan provides images of the entire body and generates high-resolution images of abnormal activity and its location. Abnormal activity often takes place before physical changes are identifiable by other types of imaging such as MRI, CT, x-ray and ultrasound. The scan detects primary and secondary disease earlier and more accurately than other imaging technology. Before having a PET scan, your doctor may order a series of x-rays, MRIs or CTs. Our team will work with your doctor and insurance payer to determine which test is most appropriate based on your diagnosis and symptoms.
Our doctors use PET/CT images to:
- Identify disease often before it shows up on other exams
- Determine whether or not the cancer has spread (the stage of the cancer)
- See how the body has responded to chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery
- Eliminate ineffective or unnecessary surgical or medical treatments
- Detect recurrence of cancer early.
What to expect
A CT scan (often called a CAT scan) is a special type of x-ray that takes cross-sectional images (like slices of bread) of bones, lungs, lymph nodes, blood vessels and other organs. These images are used to diagnose and pinpoint diseases or injury. If a cancer diagnosis is confirmed, your healthcare team will use the images to plan your care with a medical, surgical and/or radiation oncologists. Once treatment starts, CT scans are used to monitor your condition and the effectiveness of treatments.