Pediatric Cancer Diagnosis
Imaging & Biopsy
Depending on what type of cancer is suspected, or where it may be located, your child may have one or more of the following tests to diagnose and assess the extent of the cancer:
- Blood tests
- Computerized tomography (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Positron Emission tomography (PET)
- Biopsy – extracting fluid, cells or sample of tissue from the tumor
- Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy
- Lymph node tests
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy – Removing cells, a portion of the node or the entire lymph node most likely (such as closest in proximity) to contain cancer.
- Fine needle aspiration – Uses a thin needle to remove cells from a lymph node.
- Excisional lymph node biopsy – Removes a portion of a lymph node.
The RPCI Difference
We are the only provider in the Western New York region that offers a full molecular pathology service that fast-tracks diagnosis and avoids delay in commencing treatment. This includes the following key pathology studies:
- Immunohistochemistry Study: By adding an antibody, dye, or radioisotope to the sample of cancer cells, the pathologist looks for certain antigens or proteins, that help identify one cancer type from another.
- Light and Electron Microscopy: Cells are viewed using a high-powered microscope to look for changes in the cancer cells.
- Cytogenic Analysis: Cells are viewed to look at the actual chromosomes of the cancer cell.
- FISH (Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization): A process that allows the pathologist to look at the actual genes and chromosomes of the cell.
- Flow Cytometry: A test which measures the number of cells in a sample and can determine the percentage of cells that are live, or have a certain characteristic, size, shape or tumor marker.
- DNA Sequencing: Process that determines the order of components in a single DNA molecule.