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Tests and investigations

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 cancer types section lists the tests most likely to be performed for each cancer type.

The main tests are: