Different tests are used to diagnose and show the extent of the cancer within the body (stage). Tests can also show if the tumor is likely to grow and spread (grade). Doctors use the cancer stage and tumor grade information, together with other factors, to plan the best treatment, make a prognosis, and identify clinical trials. Learn about different tests, reports, and how to find a doctor or medical center.
Diagnosing and Staging Cancer
- What You Need To Know About Cancer: Diagnosis
A section of the online booklet "What You Need To Know About Cancer."
- Cancer Staging
A fact sheet that explains the process of grouping cancer cases in categories (stages) based on the size of the tumor and the extent of the cancer in the body.
- Understanding Laboratory Tests
A fact sheet that describes the role of screening and diagnostic laboratory tests. Includes a list of the common tests used in cancer medicine and a brief discussion of how to interpret test results.
- Pathology Reports
A fact sheet that describes the type of information that may be found in a pathology report, the document that contains results of the visual and microscopic examination of tissue removed during a biopsy or surgery.
- Tumor Grade
A fact sheet that discusses tumor grade and its role in prognosis. Explains concepts like normal cell biology and cell differentiation.
- Tumor Markers
A fact sheet that defines tumor markers and describes how they can be used to aid diagnosis and treatment.
- Understanding Cancer Prognosis
A fact sheet about predicting disease outcome and recovery, and how statistics help doctors estimate a cancer patient’s prognosis.
Find a Doctor or Treatment Facility
- How To Find a Doctor or Treatment Facility If You Have Cancer
A fact sheet that offers suggestions for choosing a physician and facility for cancer treatment.
- NCI-Designated Cancer Centers
NCI-Designated Cancer Centers develop and translate scientific knowledge from promising laboratory discoveries into new treatments for cancer patients. They are at the forefront of NCI-supported efforts at universities and cancer research centers across the United States. Find a center near you and learn about their research capabilities and patient services.