How Cancer is Diagnosed

If you are scheduled for cancer screening in the future, you probably have a lot of questions, like what to expect. Let’s take a look at information that helps you learn how cancer is diagnosed.

Medical History

Once you schedule an appointment with the doctor, he’ll start by taking a personal and family medical history. He needs to know if your parents or other family members had or have cancer and other medical problems. A physical exam is then conducted. Sometimes doctors order lab tests based on their findings.

Imaging Testing

Almost every doctor uses imagery to help him detect potential cancerous cells and abnormal growths within the body. The doctor has access to several types of imagery, which he will use based on the area of the body of concern. Most common types of imagery include:

·    X-Rays use low dose radiation to create pictures of the inside of a person’s body.

·    CT Scans that create 3D, detailed images with help from an X-Ray.

·    MRI uses magnetic imaging to produce images of the inside of your body which is then cut slice by slice to show healthy and unhealthy tissue.

·    Ultrasounds use high energy sound waves that echo off tissues in our bodies. We cannot hear the waves but they definitely work to create pictures of various areas of the body.

·    PET Scans create 3D pictures of areas inside the body where there is glucose.


mt pleasant endoscopy

A doctor also takes a biopsy to detect cancer. A biopsy removes a sample of tissue from the body with help from a pathologist. You can have a biopsy examined through a need but most often it is done at a mt pleasant endoscopy center with a lighted tube called an endoscope to examine the body’s insides.

Types of endoscopy exams include the colonoscopy and a bronchoscopy. Some biopsies are completed without anesthesia but others may require a sedative.