Imaging in the oncology patient

The radiologist is involved at every stage from the initial diagnosis through staging, radiotherapy planning, patient management, and follow-up. He/she participates in:

♦ Recurrence detection

♦ Assessing complications of the disease and its treatment

♦ Interventional procedures both curative and palliative

♦ Terminal care techniques including pain relief

Common tumours such as those of the lung, breast, and colon are often initially diagnosed by imaging (chest X-ray, mammography, and barium enema), to be confirmed by cytology or histology. Further imaging will depend on tumour type, methods of spread, and the ability of the diagnostic and interventional radiologist to help manage a particular patient.

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