Advertisement

What is a total or whole body computed tomography?

A total or whole body computed tomography (CT) scan creates images of nearly the entire body - from the chin to below the hips. This test has not been shown to have any value as a screening tool. ("Screening" means checking for signs of a disease when a person has no symptoms).

The American College of Radiology (as well as most doctors) does not recommend scanning a person's body on the chance of finding signs of any sort of disease. In most cases abnormal findings do not indicate a serious health problem; however, a person must often undergo more tests to find this out. The additional tests can be expensive, inconvenient, and uncomfortable. The disadvantages of total body CT almost always outweigh the benefits.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

Continue Learning about Cancer Diagnosis

How to Perform a Skin Cancer Self-Check
How to Perform a Skin Cancer Self-Check
Learn how to perform a skin cancer self-check with this video from Sharecare. Medically reviewed in January 2019.
Read More
What is cancer of unknown primary (CUP) origin?
Riverside Cancer Care CenterRiverside Cancer Care Center
Cancer of unknown primary (CUP) origin is the diagnosis when metastatic cancer is found but the plac...
More Answers
Am I depressed or am I grieving my cancer diagnosis?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
If you've received a cancer diagnosis, you're likely to experience normal emotions such as sadne...
More Answers
Is It Possible to Prevent Cancer?
Is It Possible to Prevent Cancer?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.