Diagnostics 101: CT Scan

CT scan or CAT scan is Computerized (or Computed) Tomography which works the same way as an X-Ray – only that the images taken are more enhanced and detailed, thus making it more accurate.

The CT scanner is like a large doughnut-shaped machine with an attached long table where a person to be scanned lies flat. While a body part is being scanned, it goes through a revolving X-Ray and images are being picked up and viewed via a computer.

Next to plain X-Ray, CT scan has been my most ordered diagnostic procedure and in the past 17 years, since my initial diagnosis of a very rare cancer – Leiomyosarcoma of the uterus – in October 2000, my body has been periodically subjected to it in accordance with the Oncology standard protocol. The first three years post-diagnosis, I got scanned every three months; then twice a year during year four and five. It was then yearly from the sixth year until the tenth year.

After the tenth year, the standard protocol is for a biennial one but in my case, I was still scanned yearly and only on the twelfth year I got started with every two years scanning. The very first CT scan two years after the last one showed a suspicious soft tissue growth in my pelvic area. It turned out to be a recurrence after the tumor was removed surgically last October 17, 2014.

Through the years there have been lesions, nodules, size increase and areas of haziness picked up inside my body by the too-often-a-CT-scan I went through. They all come and go but two areas have been persistently showing which merit a mention. It’s a one centimeter nodule in my left adrenal gland and a “splenule” (small nodule in the spleen). I have had lesions discovered before in my pancreas, right shoulder, left breast and right lung but they are now all gone because no mention of them in the report in the past two years or so now.

After the recurrence in 2014, I got scanned every four months in the first two years and on this third year, every six months. The first six-monthly scan this year 2007 was done in February and the second one is very recent, August 13, 2017. Both reports noted the two nodules in my adrenal gland and spleen, but there have been no increase in size.

Unremarkable study. Stationary course.” These were the Impression noted in the report.

About Author

Freda Editha O. Contreras
Writing is a God-given talent which I try to utilize the good way. I used it as a means to earn a living, my very first job after graduating from college, when I got hired as an Information Writer by the Provincial Government of Antique through Governor Enrique A. Zaldivar in January 1982. By profession, I am a Registered Nurse, and was only able to practice it when I got recruited to work in a private hospital in Kuwait. This was in November 1987 and since then I have been living in Kuwait, now retired since June 2002. Because of my knack in writing I got hired in 1994 to write for Kuwait Times and later became an Editor of 'Pinoy News' a weekly supplement of KT. In March 1996 I published the very first independent Filipino newspaper in Kuwait and the Gulf bannered as Pinoy Expat News or PEN. The paper lasted for only 10 weekly issues. This was followed by another publication and came out first as an insert of an ad paper and later as a separate tabloid. I used then 'Pinoy News' as it was my idea the first time it was used for Kuwait Times. This again failed and produced only three weekly issues. I then turned to the Internet and in 1999 I got hired as a Contributing Editor of Suite101.com, a writers' portal on the web. The last of my articles was published December 31, 2002 but my topic 'Overseas Filipino Workers' was still visible until January 2006. All the 38 articles I wrote have been compiled into a book which I published in August 2007. I discovered blogging in 2006 but was not really serious about my writing. I wrote according to my whim. Having this blog under my own domain name is now a welcome development and I plan to concentrate again in writing. As is commonly said: "A writer will always be a writer." http://fredacontreras.com/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *