Why I Love My Great GP

Hello, my name is Cindy. I live in the suburbs of Sydney with my family. Although I would occasionally visit the doctor when I was feeling too good or if one of the children had a cold. However, my whole view on doctors changed when I found a lump on breast last year. I went to my GP in a panic, but he was a real sweetie. He calmed me down and explained he would refer me for a further investigation. Thankfully, they caught my cancer early and after some treatment, I made a full recovery. Since this close call, I have taken a keen interest in everything health related.

Why Doctors Request a CT scan

Health & Medical Blog

A Computerised Tomography (CT) scan is a special type of scan that uses x-rays and a computer to construct detailed images of structures within the body. It is safe, non- invasive and provides a different view than a regular x-ray does.  

A special machine called the CT scanner sends several beams of x-rays through the body from different angles simultaneously. The strength of the beams that passed through the body is measured by a computer. That information is used to work out the relative densities of the tissues being examined and it is used to construct detailed images on a monitor.

Beams that passed through denser tissues such as bone, register weaker signals while less dense tissues such as the lungs give rise to stronger signals. The images constructed are much better defined than those created by regular x-ray machines. Modern CT scanners are much more advanced; some can provide highly detailed images as vivid as those a surgeon would see during an operation.

The doctor obtains a clearer picture of the various organs and structures within the body, making it possible for diseases which are previously found only at surgery or at autopsy to be easily detected by the CT scan. Diseases in various parts of the body can be diagnosed faster and with better precision.

Different types of cancers in the lungs, liver, gut or kidneys can be picked up quickly before the onset of symptoms and a doctor can request a CT scan to further evaluate a chest x-ray or an abdominal ultrasound finding.

CT scans are also very useful in the diagnosis of vascular diseases. A CT scan of the brain may assist in locating an area of bleeding in the brain after a stroke. Severe head injuries may be accompanied by bleeding into the cavity of the skull. The doctor may order a CT scan to establish or rule out this possibility before the rapid onset of fatal consequences. 

Aneurysms of the abdominal aorta, a large artery running down the back of the abdomen, can be diagnosed before a catastrophic rupture of the vessel occurs, with the possibility of fatal complications.

The doctor may order a CT scan of the brain to investigate unexplained dizziness, headaches or to rule out the presence of space occupying lesions within the brain. Spinal injuries, narrowing of the spinal canal or herniation of an intervertebral disc can be diagnosed with a CT scan. The doctor may also order a scan when an individual has pain in the neck, arm, back or leg suggesting that any of these medical conditions may be the cause of the problem.

A CT scan of the neck may be ordered to study a suspected cancerous lump in the neck, to look for an enlarged lymph node or to establish an evidence of malignant spread from cancer of an adjacent structure.


21 June 2017