Tests You May Need After You Know You Have Kidney Cancer

Once your doctor knows you have kidney cancer, he or she may request other tests to learn more about your specific type of cancer and to see how widespread it is. Along with previous exams and a biopsy, these can help your doctor know the stage and prognosis of your disease and decide about the most effective types of treatment for you. If you've already had a CT scan or MRI to confirm your diagnosis, these will likely not be repeated.

Don't worry if these tests take a little while to complete. In most cases, it's OK to take some time to get these results before starting treatment. And you'll have some time to discuss all of this with your family and healthcare team.

Tests can help do these things.

  • Tell exactly where the cancer is and whether it is in more than one place

  • Tell how big the cancer is

  • Tell what type of treatment will likely work best

  • Tell what your chance of recovery is

Certain tests can help spot whether the kidney cancer has spread to other parts of your body. These include imaging tests. They use scanning machines to see inside your body. You may have had one or more of these tests. If so, they may not need to be repeated. Aside from CT and MRI scans, here are examples of other tests you may have.

  • positron emission tomography (PET) scan

  • chest X-ray

  • abdominal ultrasound

  • bone scan

  • intravenous pyelogram (IVP)

  • renal angiogram


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