Thursday, December 19, 2013

Symptoms of Cancer

Remember one word: CAUTION

      Changes in bowel or bladder habits.
      A sore that will not heal.
      Unusual bleeding or discharge
      Thickening or lump in any part of the body.
      Indigestion or difficulty swallowing.
      Obvious change in any wart or mole
      Nagging cough or hoarseness.

Diagnosis of Cancer

      Biopsy- Collection of some cells from the tumor and looking at them under microscope is the only absolute way to diagnose cancer.
      Endoscopy- a flexible plastic tube with a tiny camera is inserted into any organ to look for benign or malignant tumor.

      Diagnostic Imaging- x rays
      CT scan- more precise than standard x-ray.
      MRI- uses a powerful magnetic field, very accurate but expensive.
      Blood Tests- some tumors release substances called tumor markers which can be found in the blood.

Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

In both CT and MRI, patients lie on a narrow table that slides into a tunnel where images are taken in two-dimensional slices, which are sometimes reconstructed into three-dimensional images of the brain or cerebral blood vessels.

CT Scan

Less expensive
More available in emergency rooms
X ray is used
Not indicated during pregnancy


More expensive
Less available in emergency rooms
Magnetic field is used
Not indicated in patients with metal inside body e.g. pace maker

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