TESTS FOR DIAGNOSIS
The following tests and procedures may be used to detect and diagnose soft tissue cancer:
- Physical exam that includes a check for any signs of disease, including lumps or other abnormalities.
- X-ray of the possible area of cancer to look for tumors or to see if there is any spread beyond the cancer’s origin.
- Computed tomography (CT) scan, which is a painless, non-invasive way to see inside the body using X-ray imaging. Multiple images taken from different angles create cross-sectional images of soft tissue, organs, blood vessels, and bone. The digital images can be combined to create 3-D pictures.
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan to capture detailed images of the inside of the body.
- PET (positron emission tomography) scan that is combined with a CT scan to track the possible presence of cancer cells. During the exam, a mildly radioactive substance is injected with a solution of glucose. Cancer cells absorb glucose more quickly than healthy cells and will display on the PET scan.
- Ultrasound imaging, through which sound waves are used to create a picture of organs, veins, and arteries.
- Needle biopsy or incisional biopsy where tissue samples are gathered through a needle or surgically through an incision of the skin and checked for cancer cells