How do we diagnose Renal Cancer?
Most commonly, we use computed tomography, or CT scans, to diagnose and stage renal cell carcinoma. CT scanners use a series of x-rays and powerful computers to create 2 and 3-dimensional images of the body, including the kidneys.
PET/CT is a special technique used to stage kidney cancer and is particularly useful in patients with metastases. Positron emission tomography utilizes the body’s natural uptake of modified glucose (sugar) with a CT scan to show sites of disease.
Sometimes, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound can be used to aid in the diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a powerful magnetic field to produce images of the kidneys and other soft tissues. MRI does not use or produce radiation and therefore is not associated with radiation risks or effects. Ultrasound also does not produce radiation and instead uses high frequency soundwaves to image the kidneys and surrounding structures with a high level of detail.