To Diagnose Cancer
Cancer is a group of more than 100 different diseases.
Cancer occurs when cells become abnormal and keep dividing
and forming more cells without control. If cells divide when
new cells are not needed, a mass of excess tissue called a
tumor is formed. Tumors can be either benign or non cancerous
or malignant, cancerous. Cancer cells often invade nearby
tissues or travel through the bloodstream to form new tumors
in other body parts. The spread of cancer is called metastasis.
Some of the most common warning signs of cancer include change
in bowel or bladder habits, unusual bleeding or discharge,
thickening or lump in a body part, indigestion or difficulty
swallowing, nagging cough or hoarseness.
A biopsy is the only sure method to know if cancer exists.
During a biopsy, the physician removes a part of the tissue
and examines it under a microscope to see if cancer cells
are present. Cancer is treated with surgery, radiation therapy,
chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or biological therapy.
Some common types of cancer include colon cancer, rectal
cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, brain tumor,
cancer of the uterus, cervical cancer, pancreatic cancer,
Hodgkin¹s disease, lymphoma, leukemia and prostate cancer.
Usually, early detection is the key to most successful outcomes.
The more the disease is allowed to develop without treatment,
the greater the likelihood of spreading.
Today, there are many screening tests physicians utilize
for early detection of cancer. For instance, yearly pap smears
and mammograms are valuable tools to detect cervical and breast
cancer in women over 40. Mammography every six months may
be the standard of care when fibrous or other suspicious tissue
appears on a mammogram.
Colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy are two tests utilized
to detect cancers in the colon and rectum. However, with flexible
sigmoidoscopy, only about one-third of the entire colon is
viewed and it will not detect cancer higher up in the colon.
Cancers can be missed when these important early detection
tests are not properly administered or when they are not ordered
because of cost considerations. Mammograms can be misinterpreted
or misread by a radiologist often leading to an enlargement
or spread of breast cancer. Important signs like unexplained
extensive weight loss, or enlargement of lymph nodes can also
be missed. Finally, a biopsy which is misread or which does
not properly sample the suspicious tissue in question is another
way cancer can be missed.
If you or someone you know has cancer which you believe should
have or could have been diagnosed sooner than it was, call
Phillips & Mitchell toll free for your free consultation
at 1-866-321-1580, or click here for a Free
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