Colorectal Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent
Exams and Tests
Tests to help your doctor see if colorectal cancer has spread or come back include:
- An Reference abdominal ultrasound to find the cause of pain or swelling in your abdomen.
- A Reference colonoscopy to see if cancer has returned to your intestine.
- Blood tests to find out if cancer has returned (Reference CEA) or to find the cause of symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, fever, bruising, or weight loss (Reference complete blood count).
- A Reference chest X-ray to find the cause of symptoms such as persistent coughing, coughing up blood, chest pain, or difficult breathing.
- A Reference computed tomography (CT) scan, Reference magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or Reference positron emission tomography (PET) scan to see if colorectal cancer has spread into the chest or organs in the abdomen or pelvis.
- A brain CT scan or MRI to look into symptoms such as confusion, paralysis, numbness, vision problems, vertigo, or headaches.
- A biopsy, such as a Reference liver biopsy or a Reference lung biopsy, to find out where the cancer cells have spread.
- A Reference bone scan to find out whether cancer cells have spread to the bones.
What to think about
Colorectal cancer often comes back, even after treatment that seemed successful. If you had colorectal cancer in the past, pay close attention to your body and see your doctor regularly. Tell your doctor about any changes, such as decreased appetite, bloating, or an increase in the size of your belly.
Your cancer may return even if you do everything you can to prevent it. If this happens, focus on what you and your doctor can do to treat your symptoms to help you feel better and live longer.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference September 5, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Kenneth Bark, MD - Surgery, Colon and Rectal