When an abnormality, lump, or growth is detected, it is necessary to perform additional tests to determine if it is cancerous. These tests will help doctors accurately diagnose the type of cancer and help identify the stage (0-4) in order to establish how advanced the cancer is. Diagnosing and determining the extent of cancer is an extremely important aspect of developing an individualized cancer treatment plan.

The Reading Hospital has many tools available to help identify, diagnose, and pinpoint the location of the cancer or tumor. We offer several state-of-the-art methods.


A biopsy is a procedure that collects a small sample of tissue for testing. To establish the diagnosis of cancer, the tissue sample is removed for microscopic analysis – this procedure generally involves fine needle aspiration, needle core biopsy, or surgery. After a tissue sample is removed, a Pathologist analyzes it under a microscope for the presence of cancerous cells. The Department of Pathology employs the newest staining techniques to identify cancers and assist with individualized treatment plans, based on each tumor’s cellular characteristics.

Diagnostic Imaging

The Reading Hospital Department of Radiology provides state-of-the-art diagnostic testing. We offer the latest in CT Scanning, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nuclear Medicine Scanning, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scanning, Ultrasonography, Mammography, and breast imaging. The information gathered through the extensive diagnostic testing process is used to assist in staging the disease and developing an individualized treatment plan.