To determine whether you have spine cancer, your doctor will perform a physical exam. You may also have the following tests:
Minimally Invasive Biopsy
A tissue sample from your spine is tested for cancer. An imaging technique, such as X-ray, helps the doctor guide the needle used during the minimally invasive biopsy. This approach gives precise results without the need for an incision.
Takes pictures of bones inside your body. X-rays show any areas of instability in your spine. Because X-rays only show bones and not discs or nerves, another imaging test is usually needed.
Magnets and radio waves are used to take detailed pictures of your spinal discs and the nerve roots of your spinal cord.
A series of cross-sectional pictures produce detailed, 3-D images of your spine and spinal cord.
A dye is injected into the sac around the nerve roots in your spinal cord; this helps them show up better on a CT scan.
A radioactive tracer is injected into your vein to help doctors identify signs of cancer in your bones. A special camera that detects radiation takes pictures of your spine to show how much of the tracer has collected in your bones.
A radioactive tracer collects in organs and tissues, making them show up better in images. A scanner takes 3-D pictures of your spine that highlight the location of tumors.