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Radiology 

USS (Ultrasound Scan)

Investigation of a lump often starts with an ultrasound scan.

If appropriate the radiologist may well perform a biopsy at this time.
After anaesthetising the area with local anaesthetic, he or she will insert a fine needle and take a core of the tissue to send to the histologist.

Often an Elastoplast is the only dressing required following this procedure.

 A patient undergoing an ultrasound scan
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

Should it be necessary, the next investigation would be an MRI scan. On occasions this is performed before a biopsy.

The MRI scanner is totally painless but is quite noisy!
Patients are supplied with headphones through which music of their choice is played.

The typical scan takes about 40 minutes.

A patient undergoing an MRI scan
CT (Computed Tomography)

If required a CT scan may also be organised. If possible this will be on the same day.

As with the MRI scanner this scanner is painless.

Sometimes however, with both scans, a "contrast dye" may be injected intravenously during the image sequence.

Due to the complexity of sarcomas the results of the investigation is not available on the day.

The clinical nurse specialist will contact patients as soon as she has any results.

A typical CT scanner
 PET (positron emission tomography) scan

This scanner uses low-dose radioactive glucose to measure the activity of cells in different parts of the body. This is injected into a vein a few hours before the scan. It is one of the newest scans available and is only used when the other scans are unable to characterise lesions fully.

Due to the complexity of sarcomas the results of investigations are not usually available on the day.
The clinical nurse specialist will contact patients as soon as she has any results.

An example of a PET

 
 
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