If your doctor suspects you have thyroid or another type of endocrine cancer, he or she will perform a thorough physical exam, as well as order testing to determine if a tumor is cancerous and, if it is, whether the cancer has spread. These tests may also help with staging and help determine the best treatments for you.

Testing options for endocrine tumors include:

  • Biopsy (a sample of tissue that’s analyzed in a lab for cancer cells); molecular testing to identify unique characteristics of the tumor may also be performed
  • Blood, urine and stool testing to look for unusual levels of hormones and other factors
  • Neurological testing, including balance and reflexes
  • Bone scan
  • CT scan
  • Endoscopy (a flexible lighted tube is inserted into the mouth and down the throat to see the gastrointestinal [GI] system)
  • Colonoscopy – another type of endoscopy, in which a flexible tube is inserted through the anus into the colon to diagnose a tumor in the lower GI system
  • X-ray
  • MRI
  • PET scan
  • Radionuclide scan (a small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream to help determine if a tumor has spread

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