Detailed imaging tests allow visualisation of the kidney cancer and involvement of adjacent lymph nodes, blood vessels and distant spread.
Computer tomography (CT) is cross-sectional imaging routinely performed to obtain such information. Occasionally, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is performed when more detailed visualisation of the extent of direct growth of cancer into adjacent large veins or other organs is desired.
Bone scan and MRI brain may be done to exclude spread to bone or brain respectively. If needed, a needle biopsy may also be performed under CT guidance.
In some cases, surgeons may proceed straight to surgery based on imaging findings alone.