Cancer Imaging
Radiological imaging tests are a commonly-used method of looking inside the human body to diagnose and treat a plethora of illnesses and injuries. One of the many reasons a person might receive an imaging test is as part of a cancer screening, diagnosis and/or therapy regimen. Cancer imaging can be used to identify cancerous masses, see how far cancer has spread and to find out the effectiveness of cancer treatments.

How are cancer imaging exams used?

Imaging exams can be used to search for cancer in any stage, from early detection to later treatment. If a patient is suffering symptoms associated with cancer, an oncologist may order a cancer imaging scan to see if the patient has any tumors or masses. If a mass is detected, the oncologist can then order for a biopsy to be taken, which will help determine if the tumor is cancerous. The imaging exam also helps physicians know what stage of cancer might be present, whether or not a cancer treatment has proven effective or if cancer has recurred following a past treatment.

What kind of imaging exam can detect cancer?

Cancer imaging exams fall into four broad categories: screening, diagnosis, staging, and monitoring. There is a wide array of imaging tests used, each with its own specific application:

CT Scan

CT (Computed Tomography) scans utilize both x-ray and computer technology to create three-dimensional images of the inside of the body, including bones and soft tissues. Physicians often consider CT to be the most appropriate method for detecting many different cancers, including lung, liver, kidney and pancreatic cancer. Two types of cancer screening exams performed by Capitol Imaging Services that involve CT imaging are:

MRI Scan

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) systems use powerful magnets, radio waves and computer technology to create highly detailed models of organs and other soft tissues. These scans can detect very small changes in tissues, making them especially effective in identifying, confirming or being an important adjunct to confirming the presence of cancer. Capitol Imaging Services performs two specialized MRI studies involved in evaluating potential cancer in the prostate gland and breast tissue.
  • Prostate 3T MRI

    Prostate 3T MRI

    Prostate 3T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a specialized MRI of the Pelvis, a noninvasive imaging technique designed to create detailed high resolution “multiparametric” (meaning to take a large amount of different pictures of the prostate gland) cross-sectional images of the prostate gland. Click here to learn more about Prostate 3T MRI.

  • MRI Breast Biopsy

    MRI Breast Biopsy

    Magnetic Resonance, or MR, guided breast biopsy uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to help locate a breast lump or abnormality, and guide a needle to remove a tissue sample for examination under a microscope. Click here to learn more about MRI Breast Biopsy.


Ultrasound technology utilizes sound waves to create an image of blood vessels and organs beneath the skin. This method of imaging is most frequently used to look for cancer in the abdomen as well as guiding a biopsy in breast tissue.
  • Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy

    Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy

    Your breast will be gently compressed between two compression plates (similar to those used in a diagnostic MRI exam), one of which is marked with a grid structure. Using computer software, the radiologist measures the position of the lesion with respect to the grid and calculates the position and depth of the needle placement. Click here to learn more about Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy.


Mammogram imaging is used specifically for the early detection and diagnosis of cancer in the breasts. This form of screening utilizes x-rays to detect abnormalities in the breast tissue. There are two types of mammograms. Screening mammograms are routinely administered to detect breast cancer in women who have no apparent symptoms. Diagnostic mammograms are used to diagnose unusual breast changes, such as a lump, pain, nipple discharge, change in breast size or shape or previous breast cancer.
  • Digital Mammography

    Digital Mammography

    Screening and diagnostic mammography, or mammogram, is an x-ray exam of the breast. Click here to learn more about Digital Mammography.

  • 3D Mammography

    3D Mammography

    3D mammography, also known as breast tomosynthesis, gives radiologists the ability to view inside the breast layer by layer, helping to see the fine details more clearly by minimizing overlapping tissue. Click here to learn more about 3D Mammography.

  • Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

    Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

    Stereotactic breast biopsy uses mammography to help locate a breast lump or abnormality and remove a tissue sample for examination under a microscope. It’s less invasive than surgical biopsy, leaves little to no scarring and can be an excellent way to evaluate calcium deposits or tiny masses that are not visible on ultrasound Click here to learn more about Stereotactic Breast Biopsy.

Women with a family history of breast cancer may also opt for a Genetic Breast Cancer Test to be conducted alongside their mammogram.

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine imaging scans involve the use of a small dose of radioactive dye to highlight potential or known areas of concern in the body, concerns that may be cancerous.
  • I-123 Thyroid Scan

    I-123 Thyroid Scan

    A nuclear medicine I-123 thyroid scan is used to determine the size, shape and position of the thyroid gland. The thyroid uptake is performed to evaluate the function of the gland. Click here to learn more aboutI-123 Thyroid Scan.

  • OctreoScan


    Octreoscan is used to visualize hormone-producing tumors of the nervous and endocrine systems, or neuroendocrine tumors. Most tumors of this nature contain cells with a receptor for the hormone somatostatin. Click here to learn more about OctreoScan.

  • Parathyroid Scan

    Parathyroid Scan

    A parathyroid scan is a nuclear medicine exam to determine the function and health of the parathyroid gland which regulates calcium uptake in the body. Click here to learn more about Parathyroid Scan.

  • Bone Scan

    Bone Scan

    A nuclear medicine bone scan shows the effects of injury or disease (such as cancer) or infection on the bones. A nuclear medicine bone scan also shows whether there has been any improvement or deterioration in a bone abnormality after treatment. Click here to learn more about Bone Scans.

PET (Positron Emission Tomography)/CT

  • PET/CT

    PET/CT Scans

    PET (Positron Emission Tomography)/CT scans are a specialized form of nuclear medicine imaging specifically designed for cancer staging, restaging, evaluating response to therapy and in some cases, active surveillance after treatment is completed. PET/CT is performed by injecting a small amount of a radioactive tracer into the bloodstream to evaluate blood flow throughout the body. When combined with CT, the result is a more complete examination of the tissues of the body affected by cancer. Click here to learn more about PET/CT scans.

Why are imaging exams important in the fight against cancer?

Imaging exams are incredibly important in the detection of cancer and the therapy regimen that is prescribed by physicians. While cancer imaging alone cannot determine whether a mass is cancerous or benign, imaging exams lead to more appropriate, accurate and confident diagnosis of tumors through biopsies, as well as more exact and personalized treatment plans for patients.

Do you need a screening or diagnostic imaging exam?

If you or a loved one has received a recommendation from a medical provider to undergo an imaging exam to confirm or rule out a suspicion of cancer, or as a follow-up to review the progress of cancer treatments, Capitol Imaging Services has several affiliate centers that can provide the recommended imaging exam. Our imaging network is accredited by the American College of Radiology and the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission, meeting or exceeding the standards set for quality, patient safety, reporting and technological expertise.

Your safety is always our top priority. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and see why Capitol Imaging Services is doctor trusted and patient preferred. Below you will find a list of our locations that perform cancer imaging studies.