Doctors use a number of tests and services to diagnose and screen for cancer.

Laboratory and Pathology

Our cancer center has an onsite laboratory with convenient walk-in hours. Doctors order blood work to help determine suspected cancer type and location. Pathologists are physicians who have special training and expertise in diagnosing disease from blood samples, other body fluids and biopsies (tissue samples). The pathologist examines and interprets the tissue biopsy, and conducts special tests, to identify disease type and whether it is confined to one area (localized) or has spread (metastasized). Their efforts help the treating physician develop the right treatment plan to ensure the best possible outcome.

Imaging Studies

Radiologists use imaging studies to look for body changes or abnormalities that could be cancer. Together with our Radiology Department, our Cancer Center offers advanced imaging systems, including digital mammography, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), nuclear medicine, fluoroscopy and digital radiography.

We also coordinate with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston should you need a PET/CT scan. Available first in Boston at BIDMC, PET/CT hybrid (combined) images help with early cancer detection.

Cancer Screening Tests

Cancer screening – to check for cancer before you have symptoms – is an important part of the services we provide at BID–Needham. Regular screening, especially if you are at risk for certain cancers because of lifestyle or family history, may detect disease in its earliest stages. Treatment works best if doctors can find cancer before it has grown and spread (metastasized).

At BID–Needham, we offer many different screening tests including:

Ask your doctor for more information about the many different screening programs we offer in Needham.