At Mayfair, we offer private computed tomography (CT) exams similar to those offered in hospitals in the public health care system. Our CT services can be diagnostic or screening.
Diagnostic CT exams are performed when you have symptoms, to identify a cause, or if your doctor has discovered an abnormality. For example, a diagnostic head CT scan could be used to assess for a problem after a fall, or for indication of a stroke.
CT screening exams, on the other hand, help detect diseases before you have symptoms, while they can still be successfully treated. For example, patients who are at high risk of colon cancer, heart disease, or lung cancer, due to a family history of disease or personal risk factors, might benefit from CT screening. These tests are often performed at the lowest possible radiation dose and can identify these diseases while they are still treatable.
A low-dose virtual colonoscopy can be used to screen for early detection of colon cancer. This test can identify polyps – small growths of the bowel wall that may be the precursor to cancer – when they are just a few millimetres in size.
A coronary CT angiography is a test designed to look for plaque buildup in the arteries supplying the heart muscle (a risk factor for heart disease). Patients with family histories of heart disease may be at risk for developing atherosclerotic plaque buildup, blocking or narrowing these arteries. On CT, these can be identified even before symptoms of chest pain develop.
A CT lung scan might also be requested to screen for early lung cancers, as small as just a few millimeters in size. Early diagnosis is important; the NELSON trial in Belgium and the Netherlands in 2018 concluded that CT screening of men at high risk for lung cancer reduced lung cancer deaths by an overall percentage of 26% after 10 years.
These CT screening exams are available as private pay exams, not covered by Alberta Health Care, and can be purchased for single or multiple body areas. We also offer Health Assessment packages, which provide a discount on multiple imaging exams when purchased together.
CT exams are provided at our Mayfair Place location. Your health spending account or group medical insurance plan may cover the cost of a private CT that is prescribed by a qualified health care practitioner. You will need to check with your plan administrator for coverage details.
We have been offering community CT services in Calgary since 2002. Our experienced team uses state-of-the-art technology and has expertise in a variety of areas (neuroradiology, breast, body, cardiac/chest, and musculoskeletal imaging) to ensure a fast, accurate report by a sub-specialized radiologist.
Whether public or private, medical imaging must be requested by a health care practitioner who will provide a requisition. A patient’s medical and family history, risk factors, and type and duration of symptoms, all affect a referring physician’s decision on which type of imaging is appropriate.
When we receive your requisition Mayfair Diagnostics will schedule your exam and provide you with detailed information to prepare for it. Once your exam is completed, your images will be reviewed by a specialized radiologist who will compile a report that is sent to your doctor.
A CT scan is made from X-rays. While a standard X-ray machine sends a short radiation beam, a CT scanner emits a longer beam as it moves in 360 degrees around the body. CT can demonstrate different levels of tissue density. This data is transmitted to a computer, which builds a cross-sectional picture of the area of the body being scanned. CT scans can be performed on any part of the body.
This exposure to radiation in a CT scan is higher than that of standard X-rays, although the associated risk is still small. For example, the radiation exposure from one low-dose CT scan of the chest is a similar amount of radiation as every person receives from the earth’s natural background radiation over six months.
At Mayfair, we strive to ensure the lowest possible dose for your CT study without compromising quality, and usually the benefit of detecting serious illness early outweighs the increased risk from radiation exposure.
Mayfair Diagnostics is owned and operated by over 50 radiologists who are sub-specialty trained, which guarantees an expert opinion of your imaging. Mayfair Diagnostics offers CT imaging at our Mayfair Place location. For more information, please visit our services page.
de Koning, H.J. (2020) “Reduced Lung-Cancer Mortality with Volume CT Screening in a Randomized Trial.” New England Journal of Medicine, 2020; 382:503-513.
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (2020) “Computed Tomography (CT).” National Institutes of Health.” www.nibib.nih.gov. Accessed August 4, 2020.
Villines, T. C. (2018) “Coronary CTA Should Be the Initial Test in Most Patients With Stable Chest Pain: PRO.” American College of Cardiology. Accessed August 4, 2020.