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A 21-year-old member asked:

How is cancer diagnosed?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pallav Mehta
Internal Medicine 21 years experience
Either by some symptom (something unusual you feel or notice about yourself - i.e. Pain) or sign (something your doctor notices during an evaluation - i.e. Tenderness on exam) or through a screening test. We currently have approved screeing tests for cervical, breast, colon/rectal, and prostate cancers.
Dr. Ritesh Rathore
Hematology and Oncology 31 years experience
In many ways: Cancer can be suspected due to symptoms or findings (a growing lump, coughing blood, low blood counts, sever weight loss). However, a definite diagnosis requires a biopsy of a suspected lump or mass (breast cancer or lymphoma); or a review of the blood or bone marrow biopsy (blood cancers).

Similar questions

A 34-year-old member asked:

Diagnosed with cancer?

1 doctor answer6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 35 years experience
One Day At A Time: I don't think there is any more devastating news than hearing the word cancer. A few generalizations: 1-throw away any preconceived notions--everyone's cancer is different 2-knowledge is power: the more (accurate)info you get, the better. Good websites include the american cancer society and the national cancer inst. 3-choose a dr. Who you can communicate with 4-take it 1 day at a time. Good luck.
Dr. William A Biermann
Medical Oncology 47 years experience
Another site to look at is NCCN for patients that has information on stage and treatment. Cancer.net is also helpful for information. Family, and friends are a tremendous help. Don't try to go it alone
Jul 15, 2012
A 41-year-old member asked:

How is cancer diagnosed in most people?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 50 years experience
Too broad a question: Cancer generally presents as a mass in an organ, e.g., breast, lung, colon, prostate, pancreas, liver etc. For a definitive diagnosis the entire lesion or a part of it is removed and examined by a pathologist. Different imaging and biopsy procedures are used for different organs and types of cancers.
A 36-year-old member asked:

How do you get diagnosed with cancer?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Vasilev
Gynecologic Oncology 38 years experience
Biopsy: Although scans and exams and lab tests can be suspicious for cancer, the real proof for solid tumors is through a biopsy. For leukemia it would be a bone marrow biopsy. Additional molecular and highly specialized tests can discriminate between sub-types of cancer. One of very few exceptions is gestational choriocarcinoma which can be diagnosed accurately with a blood test and scans.

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Last updated Mar 22, 2020

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