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Medical Tests for Leiomyosarcoma

DNA damage seen in patients undergoing CT scanning | News Center | Stanford Medicine


Medical History and Physical Exam:

  • By now you will have had discussions with your oncologist about your medical history, any recent illnesses, injuries, and new symptoms to especially note, medications you are taking, and  family history information.
  • Blood tests – are not used to diagnose soft tissue sarcoma, but rather for signs of disease and assessment of your general health. Blood tests may be used to assess the response to drug treatment.  Abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the blood can also be an assessment of the cancer having spread elsewhere in the body.
  • A comprehensive metabolic panel can include tests for up to 14 chemicals – and abnormal level results can be caused by cancer or other health issues.The metabolic panel involves chemicals in your blood that come from your liver, bone, and other organs.
  • Complete Blood Count and differential – a CBC (complete blood count) measures the number of blood cells in a blood sample, including white blood cells.

Imaging Tests:

  • Imaging tests – images taken of the inside of your body, to see

Where your tumor is located – your primary tumor or the original site of the tumor.

The recommended imaging tests for Leiomyosarcoma:

CT –  (Computed Tomography)  – X-ray beam taking images  from different angles around your body – chest, abdomen, pelvis. Before having at CT scan, you will be asked to drink “contrast” or have it injected in your veins, or both.  It may cause you to feel warm and flushed.  Reactions to this are rare but can happen.  Make sure you are well informed.

MRI –  (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) –  radio waves and powerful magnets ( no X -rays) take images inside your body –  the spine, soft tissues, and abdomen, pelvis areas to check treatment results and potential spread of the disease. Again, contrast may be required for clearer images to result.

PET Scan –  Positron emission tomography) – shows how active your cells are by showing how fast they use a simple form of glucose.  A sugar radiotracer is put in the body by injection into a vein, and it emits a small amount of energy that is detected by the machine that takes the pictures.  Active cancer cells use sugar faster than normal cells so the cancer cells will light up brighter.

NOTE:  Sometimes a PET scan is combined with a CT scan – called a PET/CT scan.

X-Ray –  Uses a small amount of radiation to capture images of the organs and tissue inside the body.  A tumor changes the way radiation is absorbed and will show up on the x-ray.  Chest x-rays are not as effective to find tumors as a CT scan would be.

Ultrasound –  a test that uses sound waves to form images of the inside of the body.

Angiogram –  a test that uses an x-ray to check blood vessels and the flow of blood to detect any blockage or leakage.  Contrast is used – put into a catheter (thin, flexible tube) to assess the blood vessels.  This procedure may cause soreness.  Make sure your doctor goes over this procedure with you.

Information highlights – from the NCCN Guidelines (2020)