Providers may order additional tests to determine if cancer has spread to other parts of the body. These tests may include:
A CT scan creates an image of organs and tissues in the pelvis or abdomen. A special x-ray machine linked to a computer takes several pictures. You may receive contrast material by mouth or by injection into your arm or hand. The contrast material helps the organs or tissues show up more clearly. Abdominal fluid or a tumor may show up on the CT scan.
X-rays of the chest can reveal tumors in the lungs, lymph nodes, or other areas of the chest.
Your provider may order a series of x-rays of your lower intestine. For this test, you are given an enema with a barium solution. The barium outlines the intestines on the x-rays. Areas blocked by cancer may show up on the x-rays.
During a colonoscopy, the provider inserts a long, lighted, flexible tube into the rectum and colon. This exam allows the inside of the colon to be visualized and can help to reveal if cancer has spread to the colon or rectum.