Cancer is a scary word. But when you know all the facts, knowledge and understanding can reduce the fear. Find out everything you need to know about cancer and its effects...

Cancer Diagnosis

At the moment, there is no specific test that can give cancer diagnosis accurately.  However, there are a lot of tests available that may be used in conjunction with each other in order to identify the presence of cancer or any other condition that may be similar to the disease.  Having the correct diagnosis in the early stages of the disease can aid in having the appropriate treatment for the patient.

Common Laboratory Tests for Cancer Diagnosis

  • Blood Tests

This is used to look at the levels of various substances in the blood that may show how healthy the body is and if there are signs of infection manifesting in the blood.  An abnormal count in the difference components of the blood may show that there is a problem with a certain part of the body and may help in cancer diagnosis.

  • Urinalysis

Breaking down the components of urine can indicate the presence of drugs, blood, protein and other substances that may show that cancer is present.  For example, increased levels of protein in the urine may show that the kidneys may have an infection or the patient has a cardiovascular problem.

  • Ultrasound

This test is also known as sonography and is used in cancer diagnosis to determine the exact size and location of the tumours.  A high frequency sound is reflected into the body part and creates images which can show abnormalities and the presence of tumours in affected blood vessels, tissues and organs.

  • X-Rays

This cancer diagnosis test uses electromagnetic energy beams generate images of tissues, bones and organs.  The films from x-ray tests may show the tumours that are present in the various parts of the body.

  • CT/CAT Scan
This imaging procedure combines x-rays with a more advanced technology in order to generate cross sectional images that are highly detailed compared to x-rays.

Other Procedures for Cancer Diagnosis

  • Biopsy

This procedure for cancer diagnosis involves take a tissue sample from the affected part of the body to be examined for abnormal cells that may indicate the presence of cancer.

  • Spinal Tap/Lumbar Puncture

This evaluates the fluid that is found surrounding the spine and brain for infection and other abnormalities in the cells.  By looking at the pressure in the cerebral spinal fluid, cancer can be diagnosed and treated accordingly.

  • Lymphangiogram

This is a type of imagine technique that can look at the various abnormalities in the lymphatic system.  The lymph nodes are one of the most easily affected parts of the body when cancer is present.  A dye will be injected in the lymph system and be evaluated for any signs of cell damage.

  • Surgery

A surgical procedure may be done in case tumours are not detected in various imaging techniques and laboratory tests.

It is very important get a proper cancer diagnosis through various clinical tests.  Consult your doctor as soon as you feel abnormalities in your body so that you can undergo proper testing for cancer diagnosis.  Remember that the earlier you learn that you have cancer, then it will make it much easier to treat it.