Alternative way to diagnose tumour without doing a biopsy

is there any alternative way to correctly identify what the growth is, whether it is benign or malignant, and the next course of treatment, without having an invasive biopsy, eg MRI or PET scan? Am I able to insist on this with the medical team?

Many thanks

  • Dear Izzzzzzy,

    Thank you for getting in touch. Welcome to the Online Community. My name is Kat, I am one of the Cancer Information Nurses on the support line.

    It’s unclear if you are currently being investigated for cancer or if you have cancer. Undergoing investigations can be overwhelming. It can be helpful to speak to your treatment team to let them know how you are feeling as they are best placed to support you.

    In order to diagnose you your treatment team would advise that you get a biopsy. This will allow the to confirm if a growth is cancer and sometimes how aggressive the cancer is.

    PET and MRI scans are good tools to use alongside the biopsy. These scans can let your treatment team know that there is a possible cancer. This is usually determined by the size and shape of the growth. These scans usually help determine how far the cancer has spread.

    Your treatment team would use the biopsy and the scan results together to help determine any further treatment that may be needed.

    I’m unsure where your treatment team are wanting to biopsy, but we would suggest speaking to them to see if they feel there is any alternative.  It can also be helpful to speak to someone about the process if you are worried about the procedure. Our nurses are available 7 days a week from 8 am to 8pm why no call us on 0808 808 00 00.

    Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if there is anything else we can help you with.

    Best wishes and take care,
    Cancer Information Nurse Specialist