Cancer Diagnosis

It is estimated that by 2030 there will be 13 million cancer-related deaths and 21.7 million new cases of cancer worldwide. The incidence of cancer can be reduced by making lifestyle changes like avoiding alcohol and smoking, exercising, eating a healthy diet etc.

The Importance of Early Detection

Cancer is an extremely complex and multifaceted disease. As age advances, the chances of developing cancer increase, although, in patients with inherited genetic mutations, cancers develop at a younger age. By avoiding the risk factors, as well as undergoing screening and detecting cancer in its early stages we can significantly lower the incidence of cancer deaths.

Screening and early diagnosis are the two components of early detection of cancer. While screening consists of testing individuals who are healthy to identify those having cancers before any symptoms appear, the focus of early diagnosis is to detect symptomatic patients as early as possible.

For example mammography and clinical breast exam helps in early detection of breast cancer, and for cervical cancer screening human papillomavirus test and pap smears, are helpful.

Screening Tests That Have Proved Effective in Lowering Cancer Deaths

  • Oral Examination - A doctor checks lips, gums, inner cheeks, gums, tonsils and roof of the mouth, beneath the tongue for any asymmetries, patches, bumps, redness, and presence of ulcers. If any abnormality is found, the doctor removes a piece of the tissue and sends it for laboratory testing.
  • Examination for neck and head cancer - It is a simple test to find the abnormalities in neck and head. A doctor checks the nose, mouth, and throat to feel the presence of any lump. If any such hard masses or abnormalities are found, the doctor recommends for further examination like biopsy or endoscopy to confirm the disease.  
  • Mammography - Mammography is a test for examining the breast with the help of low-energy X-rays. It can effectively detect the presence of breast cancer.
  • Low - dose helical computed tomography - This is a type of CT scan to identify the presence of lung cancer. The test is recommended for smokers between the ages of 55 to 74 who are at a high risk of developing lung cancer.
  • FOBTs (Fecal Occult Blood Tests) checks for the early signs of bowel cancer by detecting blood in bowel motions, as the presence of blood in the stools may be a sign of cancer or a polyp.
    Colonoscopy, Sigmoidoscopy - Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy detect malignant and premalignant growths in the colon.
  • Virtual Colonoscopy - Virtual colonoscopy is a medical imaging procedure which looks for abnormalities inside the colon.
  • Transvaginal Ultrasound - A Transvaginal ultrasound is a test used to examine abnormalities in female reproductive organs such as ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, and vagina.  It can identify any mass or lump in these organs.
  • Pap smear and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) testing- These tests determine the cancerous and pre-cancerous growths in the cervix. Pap identifies infection and other abnormalities in cervical cells and HPV test finds the presence of human papillomavirus DNA in the cervix which is responsible for cervical cancer.
  • Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) - In a digital rectal examination, a doctor manually checks the lower rectum to feel the presence of any hard mass or any abnormalities in prostate.  
  • PSA test (Prostate-Specific Antigen) in the blood - The PSA test is conducted to check for the presence of prostate cancer in men. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland and the rise of PSA level in blood is a sign of prostate cancer.

We perform cancer screening after documenting a patient’s full family history (for related high-risk factors that may indicate inherited genetic mutations.

Research, modern technologies, and newer treatment options have revolutionized cancer care and helped patients live a long and productive life after being diagnosed with cancer.

Tell your doctor if you do spot something unusual. It may not be cancer in most cases – but if it is, finding it early can make a real difference.

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