A CT scan or computerized tomography scan is a medical imaging technique that uses computer-processed combinations of multiple X-ray measurements taken from different angles to produce tomographic images of a body, allowing the user to see inside the body noninvasively.
CT scans are often used for emergency situations where quick action is needed, such as possible internal injuries from a car accident or other type of trauma. CT scans can be useful in many situations including:
- Diagnose muscle and bone disorders
- Pinpoint the location of a tumor, blood clot or infection
- Guide procedures such as radiation therapy, biopsy, and surgery
- Detect internal injuries or internal bleeding
- Detect and monitor diseases like cancer
During a CT scan, an individual is exposed to much higher levels of radiation than they would while participating in a regular x-ray procedure. Exposure to high radiation levels can potentially increase your risk of developing cancer. Most doctors agree that the benefits of a CT scan far outweigh the potential risks involved. If you are pregnant, be sure to tell your doctor before participating in a CT scan.