During and after your cancer treatment you may undergo tests and scans to see how well your treatment is working and monitor for signs of cancer recurrence (cancer coming back).
The specific tests and scans that you undergo will depend on the type of cancer that you have. Common tests and scans can include:
Blood tests – to monitor for signs and markers of cancer, treatment response and infection in your blood.
Endoscopy/colonoscopy – an examination of the gastrointestinal tract using a small camera and light on the end of a flexible tube, to look for changes inside your digestive system.
Biopsy – a tissue sample that is taken from a suspicious area for testing to confirm a cancer diagnosis.
Ultrasound – an ultrasound is a scan that uses soundwaves and echo to create an image of the inside of your body. Ultrasounds can be used to identify something solid inside your body, such as a tumour or an organ.
CT scan – a CT (computed tomography) scan uses x-rays to capture a detailed image of the inside of your body. Often, a liquid dye (called a contrast) will be injected into one of your veins before a CT scan to make it easier to spot anything unusual.
MRI scan – an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan uses magnetic and radio waves to capture a detailed image of the inside of your body. Like a CT scan, a liquid dye (called a contrast) may be injected into one of your veins before an MRI scan to make it easier to spot anything unusual.
PET scan – a (positron emission tomography) scan is a specialised imaging technique that shows how the cells inside your body are functioning. Before a PET scan, you will be injected with a glucose solution containing a small amount of radioactive material. Cells in your body that are more active – such as cancer cells - will take up more of the glucose solution and will appear brighter on the scan.