Musculoskeletal Cancer Detection and Diagnosis

Located at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, Nick Webber, MD, will perform a thorough physical examination and order any necessary blood tests for musculoskeletal cancer detection and diagnosis. And depending on your condition and suspected type of musculoskeletal cancer, you may undergo one of the following diagnostic exams to confirm your diagnosis and prepare for treatment:

Plain X-ray: Sometimes musculoskeletal cancer will be revealed with plain X-rays but often its diagnosis requires more sophisticated imaging technologies.

Computed tomography (CT): CT is an X-ray procedure that produces detailed, cross-sectional images of your body that are assembled to form detailed body images on the computer. These computer images help determine if the musculoskeletal cancer has spread into your lungs, liver or other organs. Our diagnostic specialists may also use CT-guided needle biopsy to guide a biopsy needle precisely into a suspected metastasis.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): These images use radio waves and strong magnets instead of X-rays to produce sharp, detailed images. MRI scans effectively outline a bone tumor, which assists your physicians in diagnosis and treatment planning. MRI images are also particularly helpful for analyzing your brain and spinal cord.

Bone scan: This imaging technique helps reveal if a cancer has spread to other bones in your body. This scan can find metastases earlier than regular X-rays. Bone scans also show how much damage the primary cancer has caused in the bone.

PET/CT: An advanced imaging technology that combines CT images and nuclear medicine images on the computer to reveal both anatomical structure and cancer in a single image. PET/CT scans may be used to uncover cancer found throughout your body.

Tissue biopsy: In a tissue biopsy, your doctor will remove a sample of tissue taken from the tumor so it can be examined under a microscope. This is the only way to determine whether the tumor is truly cancer or another disease.

For more information on Aurora’s musculoskeletal oncology program or to schedule an appointment, please call 414-649-7900.