The CHC offers in-house lab services at multiple locations to save you time and give you one less thing to worry about. Discover more about our laboratory services and the types of cancer lab tests we offer and recommend.
Types of Tests to Diagnose Cancer at The CHC
The CHC’s labs offer multiple different types of tests. Depending on your situation, you may undergo several of the following lab tests so we can determine the best treatment options for you.
Imaging Tests for Cancer
One of the earliest types of tests your doctor may recommend is imaging. However, there are multiple different types of imaging tests we might order from our outside partners. These might include:
- X-rays: Our physicians can use X-ray images that our partners take to find bone cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, and many other conditions.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): MRIs use powerful magnets that force your body’s protons and ions to flip. Because it provides a clear image of the inside of the body, an MRI can be used to detect numerous types of tumors and cancer, including brain and spinal cancer.
- Computerized tomography (CT) scans: This test involves taking X-ray images of multiple areas of the body at different angles. This provides a clear view of your tumors with detailed still images of your body.
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scans: PET scans are similar to CT scans. However, unlike CT scans, PET scans show your physician how your body reacts at a cellular level, which can provide a clear picture of where your cancer may be.
- Ultrasounds: In some cases, your physician may use an ultrasound to view any tumors or masses you may have to determine what they are.
Blood Tests for Cancer
Blood tests can detect a range of different types of cancer. With just a few milliliters of drawn blood, your healthcare team and our lab technicians can learn a lot about your condition, including:
- Your overall health
- Organ health
- Levels of blood cells that are high or low enough for different treatment options
- Chemical and protein markers that might indicate cancer
- Your cancer treatment options
- How effective treatment is for you
- And more
When you work with us to get a blood test for cancer near you, your physician might order a complete blood count, blood chemistry testing, or other tests depending on your specific situation.
A cancer biopsy typically involves removing cells or tissue from a tumor or other part of your body. Depending on the type of cancer you have, your biopsy might involve a simple procedure we complete on the same day as your appointment, or we may need to order a biopsy from one of our outside partners.
Some common types of biopsies you might receive include:
- Bone marrow biopsy: We often use this to detect lymphoma, leukemia, and other types of blood disorders.
- Cone biopsy: This procedure takes a tissue sample from the cervix to determine if someone has cervical cancer.
- Excisional biopsy: This involves removing entire lumps, suspicious masses, or in some cases organs from the body, typically through surgery.
- Incisional biopsy: As the name suggests, this procedure involves making a small cut in your body to remove tissue samples.
- Needle biopsy: Using a needle, your physician or another member of your healthcare team will extract cells from tumors. This is commonly used for a range of conditions, including breast cancer, thyroid cancer, liver cancer, skin cancer, and more.
DNA Tests for Cancer
Some types of cancers can run in families. Genetic, or DNA tests, for cancer can help confirm if someone is at risk of or has developed a type of cancer associated with DNA mutations.
Most physicians will recommend working with a genetic counselor before they offer any DNA tests. However, if your physician orders a DNA test, it will usually involve collecting samples of your blood or saliva. From there, determining the results of your test may take up to several weeks.
What to Expect: How Is Cancer Diagnosed?
In most cases, your physician will submit a lab order and we’ll complete it on the same day as your visit—this saves you time and adds convenience so you don’t have to wait for another appointment. At the CHC, we can also fill orders from outside physicians if you choose to work with us.
Depending on the type of lab work your physician orders for you, you could receive your results either within a few hours or within several days. From there, your physician will discuss your results and any needed next steps with you, either during an appointment or over the phone.
Walk-In Appointments for Lab Orders
For added convenience, we offer walk-in appointments for most types of cancer lab tests at all our West Michigan locations.
Mornings tend to be busiest across all locations, so we encourage you to take advantage of our walk-in services in the afternoon whenever possible.
Your Lab Results
When our lab technicians have completed your tests, they’ll send them to your physician. They’ll also send your results to your surgeon, radiologist, oncologist, or any other physicians working with you.
Our labs are licensed at both the state and federal levels.
Our In-House Lab Services
Across all of our West Michigan cancer center locations, we have five onsite labs to save you time and get your results to your healthcare team faster. These in-house laboratories process blood work and other scheduled tests that your physician might order.
You can find the contact information for all our lab locations below if you need to contact our labs or go to an appointment on a separate day.
CHC – Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion Lab
145 Michigan St. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 389-1799
Fax: (616) 954-9859
CHC – Lacks Cancer Center at Saint Mary’s Lab
250 Cherry St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 685-5256
Fax: (616) 685-6745
The CHC – East
5800 Foremost Dr. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Phone: (616) 389-1740
This location offers a convenient drive-thru lab draw station for blood tests. Drive-thru tests are available by appointment only during the following hours:
Monday: 8–10 a.m.
Tuesday: 2–4 p.m.
Friday: 2–4 p.m.
To schedule a drive-up appointment, please call 616-957-9668.
The CHC– Muskegon
6425 S. Harvey St.
Norton Shores, MI 49444
Phone: (231) 737-3469
Fax: (231) 737-4548
CHC – Holland Lab
12460 Riley St.
Holland, MI 49424
Phone: (616) 399-2149
Fax: (616) 399-1908
CHC – Big Rapids
15100 220th Ave.
Big Rapids, MI
Phone: (231) 515-9410
Fax: (231) 515-9411
Learn More About Lab Tests and Cancer Treatment Options
Our team of lab technicians, oncologists, and physicians is here to help you navigate your diagnosis and treatment. To learn more about your options for cancer lab tests, call 800-411-7999 today.
Central Venous Catheters
If you have a central venous catheter (also called a Hickman catheter or PICC line) and wish to have your blood tests drawn from this catheter, please make arrangements with your nurse ahead of time. Your nurse will help determine if this means scheduling an appointment before your visit with your physician.