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Cancer Detection And Treatment

Cancer Detection And Treatment
Cancer Detection And Treatment

Cancer Detection

Cancer detection is a multi-stage process. Once in a while cancer is found by chance but most of the time from screening. The final stage of cancer diagnosis depends on an Oncologist's(it is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer) judgment. 

On the contrary, if it's speculated that you have cancer, the doctor may prescribe certain "cancer blood tests" or other "lab tests", for example, an investigation of your urine or a biopsy of a suspicious area where cancer is speculated.

While picking the most suitable test(s), the doctor will consider the patient's age and medical condition, the sort of cancer suspected, the seriousness of the indications, and past test outcomes.



What is Cancer screening

Diagnosing cancer at its earliest stages is known as screening. Often when cancer is diagnosed at an early stage it provides the best chance for a cure. With this in mind, the patient must talk with his doctor about what types of cancer screening may be appropriate for him.

For some types of cancer, studies have shown that screening tests can save lives by detecting cancer at an early stage. For other cancer types, screening tests are recommended only for patients with great risk.

Examination for detection of cancer:

A general practitioner examines the clinical condition of a patient. The doctor also takes into account the patient’s family background and charts the most common risk factors for cancer.

The most recent and possible ways Oncologist's used to detect cancer at an early stage are:

1. Imaging

Detection of cancer often involves radiological imaging. Imaging is also used to monitor the growth of cancer and the progress of treatment, and to monitor cancer.

Oncological imaging is consistently more diverse and accurate. The purpose of various imaging techniques is to find the best treatment options for each patient. Combination of imaging techniques is often done in combination to obtain enough information.

A). Computed Tomography (CT): 

Computed Tomography is considered to be The most common imaging method used to detect cancer and check its spread, which provides cross-sectional imaging by computer. CT scans works using X-rays.

B). Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):  

MRI is a procedure that uses powerful magnetic fields.  These strong magnetic fields form pictures of the anatomy and physiological processes of the body, which is used to detect the area affected by cancer. Conditions, where MRI is used, include examining cancer or sarcoma in the head and neck region. FYI, The strong magnetic fields do not generate ionizing radiation. 

C). Positron Emission Tomography (PET): 

PET is a nuclear medicine functional imaging technique that is used to observe metabolic processes in the body as an aid to the diagnosis of disease or in this case cancer. It is based on the faster metabolic rate of cancer cells compared to normal cells. With PET, the patient is given a radioactive marker that is detected by scintigraphy. PET images can also be combined with CT.

D). Ultrasound:  

Ultra Sound examination is useful for examining the cervix, pancreas, liver, and kidneys. Needle biopsies can also be taken into account in ultrasound examinations.

E). Endoscopic examination:  

Endoscopic examinations are usually performed for inspecting the gastrointestinal tract, bronchial tubes, cervix, prostate, bladder or head, and neck region.

F). Mammography:  

In Mammography an X-ray image is used to examine a tumor in the breast. Mammography plays a vital role in breast cancer screening.

G). Isotopic diagnostics:  

The isotopic diagnostic is a radioactive tracer inserted into the patient’s body. The marker is placed on the organ to be examined and various imaging methods can be used to determine whether cancer has grown or not. Isotopic diagnostics can be used to identify very common cancers such as breast, prostate and colorectal cancer.

2. Blood test

Samples collected for blood tests for cancer are tested in a laboratory for signs of cancer. The samples can show cancer cells, proteins or other substances produced by cancer. Blood tests can also give your doctor an idea of how well your organs are working and whether they have been affected by cancer.

Different types of blood tests used to diagnose cancer include:

A). Complete blood count (CBC): 

This common blood test measures the number of various types of blood cells in a blood sample. Blood cancers can be detected with this test if too many or too few types of blood cells or abnormal cells are found. In addition to the above test, a bone marrow biopsy can help confirm a diagnosis of blood cancer.

B). Blood protein tests:

A test (electrophoresis) to examine several proteins in the blood can help detect certain abnormal immune system proteins (immunoglobulins) that are sometimes elevated in people with multiple myeloma(cancer of plasma cells). Other tests, such as a bone marrow biopsy, are used to confirm a suspected diagnosis.

C). Tumor markers blood test:

Tumor markers are substances that the tumor or your body produces in response to cancer. Usually, they are proteins. Some cancer symptoms only make the same type of cancer. Others can be made in a variety of ways. Some markers are non-cancerous also. Doctors may use muscle gestures to help diagnose cancer.

3. Genetic Testing

Genetic testing does not help in detecting cancer but can be useful in identifying the part of the genetic defects that indicate a tendency of developing cancer, thereby detecting a genetic susceptibility to cancer. But there is no comprehensive gene scan for people who are interested in gene testing.

4. Final test/Confirming cancer

The ultimate test of a cancer diagnosis is based on an examination of the tissue or cells under the microscope by a doctor. Biopsies can be performed by doctors using a fine needle, large core needle or biopsy forceps, or an entire tumor may be removed by surgery to diagnose cancer presence.

A). A large core needle biopsy, or tissue sample, is almost always very sufficient for confirming a cancer diagnosis. The process involves removing a sample of a few millimeters from a tumor under local anesthesia. The sample is examined to check if a tumor is malignant or mild, and also to check it's range and distribution.

B). A fine needle biopsy is performed with a thin needle or syringe. The accuracy of the sample depends on the type of cancer. A fine needle biopsy can be taken from the thyroid gland, liver and lymph nodes. The scale of a tumor can usually be confirmed with a fine needle biopsy.

Different methods of cancer treatment

1.Combination therapy:

Combination therapy compiles combined use of numerous treatment forms, such as surgery, radiotherapy, and drugs. The motive of combination therapy is to increase the patient’s scope for recovery. Cancer treatment often involves combination therapy. 

2. Adjuvant therapy:

Adjuvant therapy is used to help surgery. Adjuvant therapy for cancer refers to surgery followed by chemotherapy or radiotherapy to help decrease the risk of cancer coming back. Adjuvant therapy ensures that cancer cells are destroyed, thereby improving the patient’s prediction.

3. Supportive therapy:

Supportive cancer treatment reduces side effects caused by disease or its treatment. It can enhance the patient's health amid and after the time of treatment. For example, the counter nausea therapy used amid chemotherapy is a type of supportive treatment. Tumor pain treatment is another type of supportive treatment.

4.Palliative therapy:

Palliative therapy eases the patient's physical and mental indications to improve personal satisfaction. Palliative therapy is utilized in cancer treatment or to treat the side effects emerging from cancer treatment. Palliative therapy can be provided for months or even years. 

The most widely recognized indications treated in palliative consideration are the pain, obstruction, queasiness, confusion, and tiredness. Palliative consideration is furnished couple with remedial treatment quickly following tumor analysis. 

Different medication Used by doctors to treat cancer

Cancer treatment options include,

1. Surgery: 

The main purpose of surgery is to get rid of cancer or remove as much part of cancer as possible.

2. Chemotherapy: 

In Chemotherapy drugs are used to get rid of cancer cells.

3. Radiation therapy: 

In Radiation therapy, high-powered energy beams, like X-rays are used to kill cancer-causing cells. Radiation treatment can be performed through a machine kept near your body known as external beam radiation, or it can be performed by placing a machine inside your body known as brachytherapy.

4. Stem cell transplant: 

Stem cell transplant is popularly known as a bone marrow transplant. 

In the body, the organ responsible to makes blood cells from blood stem cells is Bone marrow which is a semi-solid tissue present inside your bones. A stem cell transplant/bone marrow transplant uses patients own stem cells or could use stem cells from a donor.

5. Biological therapy: 

Use of the body's immune system to fight cancer is conducted under Biological therapy. Cancer cells are so cordial that they usually get unchecked by the immune system which leads to there growth in your body. Biological therapy on the other hands robust the immune system so that it can recognize cancer cells and kill them there only.

6. Hormone therapy: 

Hormones present in your body acts as fuel for some types of cancer cells. These include breast cancer and prostate cancer. Hormone therapy Expel those hormones from the body or hinder their effects which make the growth cells quit developing.

7.Targeted drug therapy: 

Targeted drug treatment kills the specific abnormalities within cancer cells that allow them to survive.
Other treatments may also be available but are solely dependent upon the type of cancer one has.



References:

1. cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care
2. cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/blood-tests
3. cancer.gov/about-cancer/diagnosis-staging
Cancer Detection And Treatment Cancer Detection And Treatment Reviewed by Piyush Narayan on October 10, 2018 Rating: 5

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