16. PTC Cancer Life Phases: Diagnosis
Every type of cancer is a little bit different in the way that the doctor will diagnose it. A lot of times, doctors will first look at you for visual symptoms. Then, if they notice anything they will do blood or urine tests. They might also do imaging tests like an MRI or CT scan. Sometimes they do a biopsy which is where they take a tiny sample of your tissue to take back to the lab to test for cancer cells. This happens a little bit differently for each type of cancer, but for any procedure that involves significant pain for a biopsy (not usually for skin biopsies where simple numbing injections usually suffice), they will numb you or put you under anesthesia (put you to sleep for the procedure) so that you don’t feel any pain.
Once you know what symptoms to LOOK out for, consider cancer tests that allow us to detect cancers that do not have external, easy to see symptoms. A handy resource that follows is a table of cancer testing guidelines recommended for adults by age. Have you had these testings done within the past recommended number of years? If not, they may help catch things early when treatment is so highly successful. For even more detail, link to the related article listed below. And in another study specifically about colon-rectal cancer (CRC), read about the mortality findings when screenings are not done or followed up properly but don't limit that thinking just to CRC since it probably applies to screenings overall (see article below). Are you up to date on those routine recommended screenings?
Click on the Icon at the bottom of this page for the type of cancer diagnosis process you want to know more about.
Consider the following guidelines released in June of 2015: