Testing and diagnosis
Just hearing the words cancer or blood disorder can leave you reeling from the questions in your head and the fear in your heart. Testing and diagnosis are the first steps toward answering those questions and helping to turn fears into an action plan.
Whether your physician suspects that your child has a serious illness, or your child has already been diagnosed and you are seeking a second opinion, the hematology and oncology team here at Cook Children's is here to walk you through each process and support you, your child and your family every step of the way.
The sophisticated testing and diagnostic tools at Cook Children's enable specialists to identify specific illnesses and disorders and to determine the best course or courses of care, depending on the results of the diagnoses. The types of testing your child undergoes will be determined by his or her current symptoms as well as a history of past illnesses and symptoms. Using the prescribed tests, clinical specialists will examine different body tissue and fluids to find and diagnose the cause of your child’s symptoms. Testing protocols may include:
Physical exam and medical history
Twenty-four-hour urine test
Blood chemistry studies
Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy
CT scan (CAT scan)
MIBG (metaiodobenzylguanidine) scan
Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
Because there are so many types of blood disorders and cancers, follow-up testing may be required to give the specialty team additional information in order to customize a treatment plan for your child’s specific needs.
As treatment continues, some tests that were done to diagnose the illness or to find out the stage of cancer may be repeated (staging tests are performed to find out if the cancer has spread and, if so, to what extent.) Some tests will be repeated throughout your child’s care to see if your child’s condition has changed, how well the treatment is working and if changes to treatment need to be made based on the results of these tests. For cancer patients, once treatment is completed, follow-up tests can also show if the cancer has come back (recurred). This is important because if it does recur, catching it sooner gives your child a better chance of fighting the disease.
To learn more about the testing and diagnostics services available at Cook Children's, visit our pathology page or radiology page.
We are here to help.
If your child has been diagnosed, you probably have lots of questions. We can help. For information on support, research clinical trials, and resources, click here. If you would like to schedule an appointment, refer a patient or speak to our staff, please call our offices at 682-885-4007.