What tests can help determine if my cervical cancer has spread?

Diagnostic equipment may be used to see if cervical cancer has spread. This may include:

  • Intravenous urography: Also known as intravenous pyelography (IVP), a contrast "dye" is injected into a vein to highlight the urinary system for viewing on x-ray.
  • Cystoscopy or proctoscopy: To check to see if cancer has spread to the urethra or bladder, a thin, lighted tube (cystoscope) is inserted through your urethra. Similarly, a proctoscope is inserted into your rectum to check for cancer there.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan: combines multiple x-rays to provide three-dimensional clarity and show various types of tissue, including blood vessels. CT not only confirms the presence of a tumor, but can show its precise location, size, and involvement with adjacent tissue.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Magnets and radio waves provide three-dimensional body images. Used to view biochemical changes in your body, MRI imaging detects cancerous tumors, particularly those that have spread outside your cervix. It may also be used to determine if a tumor is benign or malignant.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan: A specific dye injected into a vein highlights cancer cells growing anywhere in your body, which can then be detected by a special camera.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.