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Cancer Information

Tests and scans

If you are experiencing symptoms related to a particular type of cancer you should talk to your doctor. You will likely have a number of tests. Initially your doctor will give you a physical examination to check for any potential signs of cancer. You may also have a blood test to assess your general health. Your doctor may then refer you to more specialised tests to confirm if you have cancer. The tests you have will depend on your individual situation and the type of cancer you may have.  

Common imaging tests 

What is an imaging test? 

Imaging tests are used to take pictures of the inside of your body. They can be used to: 

  • look for cancer in its early stage and a person has no symptoms 
  • look for a lump (tumour) if a person has symptoms and predict if it is likely to be cancer 
  • show where the tumour is and how far it has spread 
  • plan treatment 
  • see how treatment is working 
  • find out if cancer has come back after treatment. 

Other diagnostic tests 

Depending on your symptoms and the part of your body which is affected you might have other diagnostic tests.  

Where can I get reliable information and support? 

Being diagnosed with cancer and waiting for further test results can be stressful. You can call Cancer Council 13 11 20 for information and support.  


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