Cancer is defined as the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the human body. Cancer originates from the normal regular body cells. When the body produces excess cells at an uncontrolled rate, they form malignant growths inside the body. The cells divide way too quickly. Also, when cells do not die after serving their purpose, they form cancerous growths. Cancer can develop in any part of the body. Still though, the causes of some cancers can not be wholly determined due to various reasons e.g. environmental effects, geographical orientation, dietary habits and health conditions.
Cancer diagnosis is a very complex process due to the vast spectrum of probable causes, historical tendencies and physical attributes. Before a patient is determined to be having cancer, numerous tests have to be carried out to fully ascertain that the patient is indeed suffering from cancer. Some ailments are known to mimic symptoms of cancer, and may mislead the physician. This may lead to inaccurate diagnosis. This can only be avoided through effective diagnostic testing, whereby disease presence is eliminated or confirmed, spread of disease monitored, treatment is planned and its effectiveness evaluated. Repetitive tests are also necessary, especially I cases where the patients physical condition has changed for the better or worse. Sometimes, even samples collected could be of less quality and thus provide erratic diagnostic reports, hence the need for confirmation of test results.
Cancer diagnosis involves procedures like lab tests, endoscopic examination, overall testing, surgery, tumor marking and monitoring. Advanced tests include tumor biopsy, blood tests, bone marrow biopsy, chest X-ray, CBC (Complete Blood Count), and CT and MRI scans.
A Complete Blood Count, also called Full Blood Count (FBC), gives information about the cells in a patients blood. The results from an FBC give a physician a concrete base from which to factor diagnosis and subsequent treatment. CT scan is X-ray Computed Tomography. Here, computer processing is used for medical imaging of a patients body status. CT scan specifically produces three-dimensional graphical representation of the internal body layout. MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a technique that applies magnetism and radio waves to bring out graphical representations of bodily layouts and placements. All tissues in the body are captured by the scan. Therefore any irregular manifestations in the body tissues will be clearly highlighted and from these, valid cancer diagnosis can be fully made.
While cancer diagnosis is not a clear cut process, its importance can never be understated. Study of cancer-related symptoms leads to valid innovations and major medical breakthroughs.