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Diagnosing Neuroendocrine Cancer

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UPMC’s Neuroendocrine Cancer Treatment Center uses the most advanced imaging and laboratory technology to accurately identify neuroendocrine cancer at its earliest stages, when treatment can be most effective. Using state-of-the-art procedures and protocols, our specialists are experts at making a definitive, early diagnosis.

Carcinoid and neuroendocrine tumors are difficult to diagnose. Symptoms can vary depending on the original location of the cancer, and a neuroendocrine cancer diagnosis is frequently determined only after the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Diagnostic tests

The UPMC Neuroendocrine Cancer Treatment Center uses a variety of diagnostic testing procedures for neuroendocrine tumors, including:

  • Biopsies — a medical test involving the removal of the tumor cells or tissues for examination under a microscope in a laboratory.
  • Camera capsule enteroscopy — a minimally invasive procedure that views the tumor with a camera.
  • Computed tomography scans — also known as CT scans.
  • Endoscopy — another way diagnosticians can view the tumor with the aid of a camera.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scansa medical imaging technique to view the tumor without the use of radiation.
  • Metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) imaging — a noninvasive procedure that targets the tumor and allows precise diagnosis.