The most common diagnostic tests are described below. When choosing a diagnostic test(s), your doctor will consider the person’s age and medical condition, the type of cancer suspected, the severity of the symptoms, and previous test results. Learn more about diagnostic tests for a specific type of cancer. And, not everyone will need all available tests. Learn more about specific tests and procedures that are commonly used in cancer care but should be questioned in specific situations.
Learn about this procedure that is used to find health conditions in the colon and rectum.
Learn about the different types of biopsies used to diagnose cancer.
Learn how these procedures can provide information on the health of your blood cells.
Read about why you may need a bone scan.
Learn about what a breast MRI is used for and how it is done.
Learn about how this test is used and what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.
Learn how this test is used and what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.
Read about what a digital rectal exam is and how it is used to check the lower rectum, pelvis, and lower belly for cancer and other health problems.
This article explains what an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) and echocardiogram (echo) are, how these tests are used to look for heart problems, and what to expect during these tests.
An endoscopy allows a doctor to view the inside of a person's body. Learn about the different types of endoscopy and how they are used.
Read about how this test is used to find blood in the stool.
This article explains what an MRI is, why you may need one, and what to expect during the test. It also offers a list of questions to ask your health care team about having and MRI.
Learn about a type of x-ray used to check for breast cancer.
A multigated acquisition (MUGA) scan checks to see if your heart is pumping blood properly. Some people with cancer receiving chemotherapy may need to have this test during their cancer treatment.
Learn about how a Pap test is used to look for changes in cells that can lead to cervical cancer.
Learn about when this combined test is used and how it works.
Learn about how this test is used to look for colorectal cancer and how to prepare for it.
Learn what tumor markers are and how they are used to diagnose cancer and plan treatment.
Read about what an ultrasound is and what to expect if you need one.
Find out what an upper endoscopy is and how to prepare for one.