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Last Updated: 11/06/20

Cancer Imaging Basics

Cancer may be difficult to detect, but for some types of cancer, the earlier it is detected, the better are the chances of treating it effectively. Imaging techniques — methods of producing pictures of the body — have become an important element of early detection for many cancers. But imaging is not simply used for detection. Imaging is also important for determining the stage (telling how advanced the cancer is) and the precise locations of cancer to aid in directing surgery and other cancer treatments, or to check if a cancer has returned.

Clinical trials, research studies involving people, play an essential role in determining whether emerging imaging techniques are effective and safe. For more information, see Cancer Imaging Clinical Trials.

RadiologyInfo is designed to answer patient questions related to many radiologic procedures and therapies. It includes images from diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology and radiation therapy, has an alphabetical procedures list and galleries of images. There is access to descriptive material for radiologists to use in their waiting rooms.

Additional discussion of imaging instrument questions and utilities is available at the Medical Imaging web site supported by the National Association of Electrical Manufacturers (NEMA).