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Tests to diagnose

You might have one or more of the following tests to diagnose bone cancer. Most people have an x-ray and a scan. You may then have a bone biopsy.


An x-ray is a test that uses small doses of radiation to take pictures of the inside of your body.

MRI scan

An MRI scan creates pictures using magnetism and radio waves. 

CT scan

A CT scan is a test that uses x-rays and a computer to create detailed pictures of the inside of the body.

Bone biopsy for bone cancer

A bone biopsy is where a surgeon takes a small sample of bone and sends it to the laboratory for a specialist doctor to look at under a microscope.

Blood tests for bone cancer

Blood tests can check your overall health, measure your bone activity and help diagnose cancer and other conditions.

Last reviewed: 
11 Feb 2021
Next review due: 
12 Feb 2024
Coronavirus and cancer

We know it’s a worrying time for people with cancer, we have information to help.

Read our information about coronavirus and cancer