Doctors use many tests to identify cancer and find out if it has metastasized. Some tests may also establish which treatments may be the most effectual. For most types of cancer, a biopsy is the only way to make an ultimate diagnosis of the malignancy. If a biopsy is not probable, the doctor may suggest other tests that will help make a diagnosis. Imaging tests may be used to discover whether the cancer has metastasized. A doctor may consider these factors when selecting an indicative test:

  • Age and health conditions
  • Type of malignancy suspected
  • Severity of symptoms
  • Previous test consequences

In addition to a physical examination, the following tests may be used to diagnose appendix cancer:


A biopsy is the elimination of a small amount of tissue for assessment under a microscope. Other tests can put forward that cancer is there, but only a biopsy can make a specific diagnosis. The sample removed from the biopsy is examined by a pathologist. However, most often, appendix cancer is found without warning during or after abdominal operation. If tumor is suspected at the time of operation, the doctor will get rid of a piece of the colon and adjacent tissue for assessment. Frequently, a patient will have an appendectomy (surgical exclusion of the appendix) for what is considered to be appendicitis, and the tumor is diagnosed after the pathologist has processed and reviewed the tissue under the microscope. In that case, one more surgery is frequently suggested to eliminate another fringe of tissue around the area where the growth began.

Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan

A CT scan creates a 3-D image of the inside of the body with an x-ray contraption. A computer then combines these descriptions into a comprehensive, cross-sectional view that shows abnormalities or tumors. Occasionally, a contrast medium is injected into a patient’s vein to offer better details.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

An MRI uses magnetic fields, not x-rays, to construct comprehensive images of the body. A contrast medium may be injected into a patient’s vein to generate a clearer image.


 An ultrasound uses sound waves to generate an image of the interior organs.

Radionuclide Scanning (OctreoScan)

A small sum of a radioactive, hormone-like material that is attracted to a carcinoid growth is injected into a vein. An exceptional camera is then used to demonstrate where the radioactive material accumulates. This process is helpful in detecting extend of a carcinoid growth, particularly in the liver.

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