Cancer Tests Overview No single test can accurately diagnose cancer. Instead, doctors use a variety of tests, a thorough medical history, and a physical exam to make the diagnosis. Tests are also used to rule out other conditions that may mimic the symptoms of cancer. Gastroenterology Tests and Procedures These tests include a barium swallow and enema, a liver biopsy, laparoscopy, colonoscopy, and abdominal X-rays. They can help diagnose cancer of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, colon, and other areas of the gastrointestinal tract. Pulmonary Tests and Procedures To help diagnose cancers of the lung and chest, doctors may use a chest X-ray, chest ultrasound, bronchoscopy, pleural biopsy, PET scan, and other procedures. Orthopedic Tests and Procedures Cancers of the bone or joints may be diagnosed with a bone scan, bone biopsy, bone marrow biopsy, CT scan, MRI, and other procedures. Neurology Tests and Procedures These tests include a CT scan of the brain and spine, X-rays of the skull, craniotomy, and lumbar puncture. Gynecology Tests and Procedures Your doctor has a number of tests to help diagnose gynecologic cancer. Learn more about a Pap test; cervical biopsy, pelvic ultrasound; breast scan, mammography, and breast ultrasound. Urology Tests and Procedures Urologic cancers can be diagnosed with the help of a kidney scan, biopsy, and ultrasound; prostate biopsy and scan, and pyelogram.