Tests and investigations

Phlebotomist taking blood from patient

Tests and investigations help to find out:

  • if you have cancer
  • if you do have cancer, what type, how far it has spread (its stage) and where it is
  • what treatment you need
  • how well your cancer is responding to treatment
  • whether any cancer cells remain after you have finished a course of treatment.

Most tests are carried out at an outpatient visit to the hospital. Many involve a short appointment with a specialist. You may have a range of tests at the same appointment.

The main tests are listed below. The cancer types section also lists which tests you are likely to have, depending on which cancer type you are having investigations for.