Vulvar Cancer: What tests might your gynecologic oncologist perform?

Vulvar Cancer

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What tests might your gynecologic oncologist perform to determine treatment?

Your gynecologic oncologist will review your entire medical history and perform a physical examination, including a pelvic examination. If it has not already been done, your gynecologic oncologist will probably perform a vulvar biopsy. This can usually be done in the office with a medicine to numb the area from which the biopsy will be obtained.

In some cases, other tests such as a CT scan, MRI or PET scan may be recommended prior to treatment to determine if any cancer cells have spread. These tests are performed as an outpatient and require placement of an IV during the test.

Occasionally, if you are too uncomfortable in the office, or if an adequate biopsy cannot be performed, your doctor may recommend an examination with anesthesia in the hospital. A cystoscopy (looking in the bladder) and or proctoscopy (looking in the rectum) may be performed at the same time. Blood work to evaluate liver and kidney function, blood counts, and possibly an HIV test to check your immune system may also be recommended.

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