Sophisticated Cancer Diagnostic Tests for More Answers, Earlier

Our University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s team is here to guide you through every step of the process once your doctor suspects your child may have a serious illness. We invest in sophisticated testing and diagnostic tools to detect diseases early and provide the answers necessary to put an action plan in place.


Leading-Edge Cancer Diagnostics for Children

Our patients have access to the most innovative diagnostic tools and testing procedures. With an action-oriented approach, we discover information early and often to best treat children with cancer and blood disorders.

Our diagnostic cancer tests include:

  • Biopsy: A biopsy is a test that checks body tissue for cancer cells. A doctor takes a small tissue sample from the body to examine. This can be done with a small needle through the skin or a small operation.
  • Blood Chemistry: Blood chemistry tests reveal how a child’s organs are working. Blood tests can check for electrolytes (like sodium, potassium and chloride) or other substances in the blood. Blood tests can include a complete blood count (CBC test) and blood protein testing.
  • Bone Scan: A bone scan is a non-invasive imaging technique that evaluates the child’s entire skeleton. It is used to find problems in the bones or joints. Medicine is administered to the child through a small needle. Then a gamma camera takes photos to show cell activity in the bones.
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan: A CT Scan, also called a CAT Scan, combines x-rays with computer technology to create detailed imaging of internal structures. A CT scan takes about 30 minutes. Children will need to lie still on an imaging table and at times may require sedation.
  • Endoscopy: An endoscopy uses a thin, lighted tube, sometimes called a “scope”, to look at a child’s digestive system to detect certain type of gastrointestinal cancers. The doctor can look inside the child’s organs and check for abnormalities.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An MRI is an imaging technology that uses magnets, radio waves and computer technology to take a detailed picture of a child’s internal structures. MRIs are used so doctors can take a closer look at the brain, spine, abdomen or extremities (arms and legs).
  • Positive Emission Tomography (PET) Scan: A PET Scan is another imaging technology. Unlike a CT Scan or MRI, the PET Scan shows organ function at the cellular level. This can help detect changes before the disease causes structural changes to the body.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound uses sound waves to create pictures of internal organs or structures. These are often used to look at lymph nodes in the body and help to diagnose lymphoma in children.
  • X-Ray: An X-ray is a beam of energy that can go through the body and print onto film. This gives doctors a look inside the body. X-rays are used to look at bones and other body tissues.

Diagnostic cancer tests are the first step toward healing your child. By using the latest technologies and testing protocols, the UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s team is able to gather more information for targeted treatment plans that set your child on the road to recovery.