How do doctors test for metastatic disease?

There are several tests used to detect metastatic disease:

  • Bone scans
  • Chest x-ray
  • CAT scan
  • MRI scan
  • PET scan
  • Blood Tests/Tumor marker tests – Measure markers found in the blood that can be followed over time. Two such markers for breast cancer are CEA and CA 15-3. These markers tend to be elevated in women with metastatic breast cancer. However, because the tests are not very sensitive, they are not usually very useful for patients with early-stage breast cancers.
Metastatic Disease