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Colorectal Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent - Exams and Tests

Tests to help your doctor see if colorectal cancer has spread or come back include:

  • An abdominal ultrasound to find the cause of pain or swelling in your belly.
  • A colonoscopy to see if cancer has returned to your intestine.
  • Blood tests to find out if cancer has returned (CEA) or to find the cause of symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, fever, bruising, or weight loss (complete blood count).
  • A chest X-ray to find the cause of symptoms such as persistent coughing, coughing up blood, chest pain, or trouble breathing.
  • A CT scan, an MRI, or a PET scan to see if colorectal cancer has spread into the chest or organs in the belly or pelvis.
  • A brain CT scan or MRI to look into symptoms such as confusion, paralysis, numbness, vision problems, vertigo, or headaches.
  • A biopsy, such as a liver biopsy or a lung biopsy, to find out where the cancer cells have spread.
  • A bone scan to find out if cancer cells have spread to the bones.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 29, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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