Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff


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Your doctor will talk with you about your medical history and symptoms. He or she will also perform a pelvic exam and may order lab tests.


Specialists at Mayo Clinic use high-resolution imaging studies to diagnose adnexal tumors. In tests that involve radiation, specialists carefully monitor doses to avoid the risk of radiation overexposure. Tests may include X-rays or some of these imaging techniques:

  • Ultrasound. Ultrasound is a painless procedure in which a technician moves a wand-like device (transducer) over the surface of your body while monitoring the image on a screen. Transabdominal (through the abdomen) and transvaginal (through the vagina) Doppler ultrasound technology is available at Mayo Clinic.
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan. CT scans generate 2-D cross-sectional images of the abdomen and pelvis that show whether cancer has spread to other tissues or organs in your body. Technology at Mayo Clinic allows for 3-D reconstruction of the CT images.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. MRI technology uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of your pelvis and abdomen. This highly sensitive technology can identify small abnormalities in your body.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET). To perform a PET scan, doctors inject sugar (glucose) and a very small amount of radiation into your bloodstream. The scan helps show if a tumor has spread, because tumors typically pick up the sugar and appear on the image as "hot spots."


To see if an adnexal tumor contains cancerous cells, a doctor may remove a small piece of the suspected tumor (biopsy), usually during surgery. A pathologist will examine the tissue under a microscope.

Read more about ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, PET scan and biopsy.

Feb. 27, 2014