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Comprehensive guide about Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Prevention

What is a cancer disease?

Types of cancer you must know about

Symptoms of cancer in women and men

A closer look at cancer cells

What are the general causes of cancer?

Diagnosis of cancer

 

Some cancers can be diagnosed by way of routine examinations. The first step of early diagnosis of cancer is taking a physical exam and presenting an accurate medical history to a healthcare professional.

Subsequently, the medical caregiver will arrange a number of tests to determine the type of cancer and its location on or in one’s body.

Moreover, caregivers will require several blood studies to gain additional information, such as electrolyte levels and a complete blood count.

Then, healthcare professionals use imaging studies, like CT scans, X-rays, endoscopy, ultrasounds, and MRI scans, to detect abnormalities in the body.

These tests act as a resourceful tool for accurately localising these abnormalities and therefore present presumptive evidence for the diagnosis of cancer. 

In the case of a definitive lab diagnosis of cancer, a tissue sample is taken out in a procedure known as a biopsy. A pathologist then analyses this sample and examines if it is cancerous and the type of cancer.

Ultimately, the specialist estimates how extensive the cancer is in the body by determining the stage of the disease.

Here, localised cancer is referred to as an early stage. When cancer spreads from the site of origin to other issues, it is known as an advanced stage. The table below highlights the various stages of cancer:

Stage of cancer

Implication

Stage 0

Carcinoma in situ or no cancer, only the presence of abnormal cells that can potentially be cancerous.

Stage I

Cancer is small and confined to just one area. This is an early stage of cancer.

Stage II & III

Cancer is larger and has grown into surrounding tissues or lymph nodes.

Stage IV

Cancer has spread to other and distant parts of the body. This is called metastatic or advanced cancer.

Understanding which test helps in the diagnosis of cancer is critical when you suspect affliction with the condition.

Treatment for cancer

Other risk factors

Prevention of cancer

Frequently Asked Questions