If you have an abnormal PAP smear or other symptoms that suggest the possibility of a gynecologic cancer, your doctor may order diagnostic tests such as:
Biopsy: A procedure to obtain tissue for diagnosis. Types of biopsies used to test for gynecologic cancers include:
- Conization, also referred to as a “cone biopsy” of cervical tissue
- Endometrial biopsy, a tissue sample is taken from the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) for examination
CA-125: A blood test used to detect an elevated level of the cancer antigen CA-125, which is a protein found at high concentration on the surface of many ovarian cancer cells. (It is also found in other cancers, in noncancerous diseases and in small amounts in normal tissue.)
Colposcopy: A procedure that uses an instrument with a magnifying lens and a light, called a colposcope, to examine the cervix (opening to the uterus) and vagina for abnormalities
Dilation and curettage (D&C): A surgical procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus
Pap test: A way to examine cells collected from the cervix for the presence of infection, inflammation, abnormal cells and cancer
Pelvic ultrasound: A noninvasive exam to visualize the female pelvic organs and structures including the uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes and ovaries
Transvaginal ultrasound (TVU): A procedure using sound waves to examine the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes and bladder
Other imaging studies may be used to evaluate the extent of cancer. These may include:
CT scan: Imaging uses x-rays and a computer to visualize organs in the chest, abdomen or pelvis
PET/CT scan: A form of 3-D imaging that can provide more definitive information about cancerous tumors and other lesions located throughout the body
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Imaging that uses a powerful magnet to provide detailed images
Specialists in the critical evaluation and diagnosis of diseases, our board-certified pathologists and cytopathologists work closely with the medical and surgical team in the diagnosis of cancer. Our accredited laboratory is committed to using the latest and most trusted methods of testing to ensure the accuracy and quality of each analysis for a cancer diagnosis in the shortest time possible.
Cancer pathology review includes:
- Histopathologic evaluation of all diagnostic and surgical specimens, including intraoperative consultation (frozen section) when appropriate.
- Immunohistochemical (IHC) testing of cancer tissue
- Availability of comprehensive molecular testing of cancer tissue
- Second pathologist review for every diagnosis
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