Several techniques are used to produce an internal picture of the body and its structures. Types of imaging methods include:
X-rays are the most common way doctors make pictures of the inside of the body. Specialists can spot abnormal areas that may indicate the presence of cancer.
CAT scan (computerized axial tomography), uses radiographic beams to create detailed computerized pictures taken with a specialized X-raymachine. It is more precise than a standard X-ray, and provides a clearer image.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a powerful magnetic field to create detailed computer images of the body’s soft tissue, large blood vessels and major organs. MRI is an accurate but expensive process, and patients must lie completely still during the procedure for best results.
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to determine if a suspicious lump is solid or fluid. These sound waves are transmitted into the body and converted into a computerized image.