Cancer blood tests: Lab tests used in cancer diagnosis - Mayo Clinic
Cancer blood tests and other laboratory tests may help your doctor make a cancer diagnosis. Reduce your anxiety by learning about cancer blood tests and how they're used. If it's suspected that you have cancer, your doctor may order certain cancer blood tests or other laboratory tests, such as an analysis of your urine or a biopsy of a suspicious area, to help guide the diagnosis. With the exception of blood cancers, blood tests generally can't absolutely tell whether you have cancer or some other noncancerous condition, but they can give your doctor clues about what's going on inside your body. Because your doctor has ordered cancer blood tests to look for signs of cancer, it doesn't mean that a cancer diagnosis has been made and you have cancer. Find out what your doctor might be looking for when cancer blood tests are done.
A core needle biopsy uses a long, hollow tube to extract a sample of tissue. Here, a biopsy of a suspicious breast lump is being done. The sample is sent to a laboratory for testing. During a breast MRI, you lie on your stomach on a padded scanning table. Your breasts fit into a hollow depression in the table, which contains coils that detect magnetic signals.
Skip to Content. Use the menu to see other pages. Doctors use many tests to find, or diagnose, breast cancer. They also do tests to learn if the cancer has spread to a part of the body other than the breast and the lymph nodes under the arm. Doctors may also do tests to learn which treatments could work best.