CT Simulation for Head and Neck Cancer

The video is about CT simulation for head and neck cancer patients, which is a special type of scan done before radiation therapy treatment to help doctors plan the best treatment by creating detailed pictures of the area where the cancer is located.

Read the full video transcript below:

This video is an overview of CT simulation for patients with head and neck cancer. 

CT stands for computed tomography, and it is a special type of scan that is done before radiation therapy treatment. This test helps doctors plan the best treatment for you by creating detailed pictures of the area where the cancer is located.

Before CT simulation, you may be asked to follow some specific instructions to prepare for the test. This may include not eating or drinking anything for a certain number of hours before the test or changing into a hospital gown. 

You may receive IV contrast, which is given directly into the bloodstream during the procedure through an IV. IV contrast lights up the tumor and allows doctors to target it during the treatment phase more accurately.

Before the scan, the doctor and your technicians will create a custom mask that goes over your face. You can see and breathe through the mask. The mask will be used during treatment every day to ensure you're in the exact same position. During CT simulation, you will lie on a table that will slide into a large machine shaped like a large donut.

The machine takes pictures of the inside of your body using x-rays. The test itself is painless, but you'll have to lie still for several minutes while the pictures are taken. 

After the CT simulation is done, you can go home. The doctor will use the pictures to plan your radiation therapy treatment.

The doctor will be able to see the exact shape and size of the cancer, as well as the location of important structures around it, like the spinal cord and salivary glands. 

The reason for this process is that it will allow the medical team to precisely target the cancer with radiation, while minimizing the amount of radiation that goes to healthy tissue, thereby reducing any potential negative side effects.

Overall, CT simulation is a quick and painless test that helps doctors plan the best treatment for you. It may take a bit of preparation, but the benefits of a well-planned radiation therapy treatment make it well worth the effort.

This video is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice. 

Please consult with a healthcare professional for specific medical recommendations.