Understanding the Cancer Journey: Tests & Procedures 3

iStock_000015992863SmallWhen a child is diagnosed with cancer, the parents and the child are usually in shock over the diagnosis, and this can make them feel totally lost and at sea because the general Jane or Joe Public does not really know that much about cancer, especially Childhood Cancer.

Their lives and all that they thought they knew has changed within a mere moment – they have to digest the bad news and the fact their lives are about to be taken over by this disease that can devastate whole families in so many ways.

Apart from the emotional, physical and financial stress, one also has to learn and deal with a lot of new medical terminology and scary and unfamiliar tests.

Understanding the Cancer Journey

With this in mind, the Little Fighters Cancer Trust has been hard at work behind the scenes researching and documenting the most common type of test and procedures that your child may have to undergo in an effort to help you better understand and take some stress off of you.

We have tried our level best to lay it all out in simple terms and provide as much information as possible, including videos where possible.

Today we would like to introduce you to the third group of our new pages containing vital information regarding Imaging Tests that are normally done for Childhood Cancer.

Please go through the pages when you have some time – they will always be there for your edification. If at any stage you need some information about a new test or procedure, just type the name into the “search” box at the top right of the blog and you will get a list of any pages or articles containing that reference.

Click on the Pictures below for a full explanation, video, possible side-effects and tips for parents


Imaging Tests

CT Scan

girl-ct-scan-machineA CT (Computerised Tomography) scanner uses x-rays and a computer to make pictures of the inside of your body. It is similar to a plain x-ray however it takes lots of pictures of a section (cross sections) of your body instead of just one.

The child may be asked to drink a special liquid or be given a special x-ray dye by an injection to make the scan more effective.

The scanner has a round opening in the centre and a flat bed for the patient to lie on. While lying on the bed, it will slowly move into the opening where the pictures are taken. The movement is controlled by the CT staff.



ecocardiograma-infantil-clinica-oftcor-bauru-spAn echocardiogram (echo) is a test that helps doctors evaluate the strength and function of a child’s heart.

The test uses sound waves to create a picture of the heart.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRIAn MRI uses high frequency radio waves and a powerful magnetic field to construct images of virtually any part of the body and it is one of the most sensitive imaging tools available.

Health care professionals use MRI scans to diagnose a variety of conditions, from torn ligaments to tumors.

MRIs are very useful for examining the brain and spinal cord.



SPECT scans are similar to PET scans. They use a special camera to make 3-dimensional images of inside the body.

SPECT scans are effective for getting information about blood flow to tissues and chemical reactions in the body.

SPECT scans are often used for diagnosing and monitoring treatment for brain tumours and cancers affecting bones.



ultrasoundAn ultrasound scan, sometimes called a sonogram, is a type of imaging procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of organs and structures inside the body.

Health care professionals use it to view the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, liver, and other organs.

An ultrasound scan can be also used to guide a surgeon during certain procedures.



About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 5 February, 2016, in Advice & Tips, Blog, Tests & Procedures, Videos and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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