How will a physician make a diagnosis of head and neck cancer?

If a physician suspects a head and neck cancer, he or she will order specific diagnostic tests, depending upon the location of the cancer. These tests may include: Physical examination Inspection of oral and nasal cavities using mirrors and fiber-optic scopes Examination of suspicious lesions Examination of the back of the tongue Blood tests, including a complete blood count and liver function test A blood draw to check for the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antibody measurement CT, PET, MRI imaging or X-rays Bio...

What’s new in endometrial cancer research and treatment?

Molecular pathology of endometrial cancer: Recent research has improved our understanding of how changes in certain molecules can cause normal endometrial cells to become cancerous. It has been known for several years that mutations (damage or defects) to DNA can alter important genes that regulate cell growth. If these genes are damaged, excess growth may result in cancer formation. Sometimes, endometrial cancer and colon cancer may seem to "run in a family." We now know that some of these families have a ...

How is cancer of the cervix treated?

The choice of treatment for cervical cancer depends on the location and the size of the tumor, the stage (extent) of the disease, the woman's age and general health, and other factors. Gynecologic oncologists have expertise in the diagnostic evaluation and treatment of patients with cervical carcinoma. They also have surgical expertise in the procedures of radical hysterectomy, pelvic and paraaortic lymphadenectomy, pretreatment surgical staging procedures, and exenterations for patients with recurrent cerv...

How will my doctor know if I have pancreatic cancer?

To find the cause of a person's symptoms, the doctor performs a physical exam and asks about the person's medical history. In addition to checking general signs of health, the doctor may perform blood, urine and stool tests. Doctors may perform several tests that involve taking pictures of the pancreas and surrounding tissues and organs to help with diagnosis. These are called imaging tests. Imaging tests include Upper GI series, CT scanning, MRI, Ultrasonography and ERCP.

How will my doctor know if I have liver cancer?

If liver cancer is suspected, the doctor will conduct a physical examination and a medical history. During a medical history, the patient will be asked questions about incidence of cancer in his/her family and other possible risk factors. Further tests help a doctor determine if cancer is causing symptoms. Some tests may include alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood test, ultrasonography (ultrasound), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), angiography, laparoscopy and biopsy.

How do you diagnose endocrine cancer?

The doctor will ask about your medical history and will do a careful physical exam. You most likely will be asked to give blood for hormone measurements, and you may also be asked to have an ultrasound, CT scan or MRI to enable the doctor to determine where the growth is located and whether it has spread. The only sure way to tell whether cancer is present is with a biopsy. The doctor removes a small sample of tumor tissue, which is examined under a microscope by a pathologist. If cancer cells are found, th...

Stereotactic radiosurgery

Stereotactic radiosurgery is another way to treat brain tumors. An MRI or CT scan is used to pinpoint the exact location of the tumor, and the treatment is given in one session. High-energy rays are aimed at the tumor from many angles. A high dose of radiation reaches the tumor without damaging other brain tissue. This may be referred to as the gamma knife.

Surgery for brain tumors?

Surgery is the usual treatment for most brain tumors. To remove the tumor, the neurosurgeon makes an opening in the skull. This is called a craniotomy. Whenever possible, the surgeon removes all of the brain tumor, but sometimes only part can be removed if removing would cause damage to vital brain tissue. Some tumors cannot be removed, and a biopsy is done to help decide treatment. Sometimes the biopsy can be done with a CT scan or MRI to pinpoint the tumor’s exact location, and only a small hole is needed...

How is a brain tumor diagnosed?

The doctor does a complete physical exam with special attention to neurological examination. This includes checks for alertness, muscle strength, coordination, reflexes and response to pain. The doctor also examines the eyes for swelling caused by a tumor pressing on the nerve that connects the eye and the brain. The doctor may request a CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI. A CT scan is a series of detailed pictures of the brain. The pictures are created by a computer linked to an X-ray machine. Sometimes dyes are i...

How is bone cancer diagnosed?

To diagnose bone cancer, the doctor asks about the patient’s personal and family medical history and does a complete medical exam. The doctor may suggest a blood test, since some bone tumors can be associated with increased levels of certain proteins in the blood. X-rays can show the location, size, and shape of a bone tumor. If x-rays suggest that a tumor may be cancer, the doctor may recommend special imaging tests such as a bone scan, a CT (or CAT) scan, an MRI, or an angiogram. However, a biopsy—the rem...