Cancer is considered one of the most deadly diseases today. It is difficult to treat, so for many, the diagnosis of oncology is equivalent to a quick and painful death. Despite the constant development of medicine, the likelihood of relapse after remission remains high.
The only way to increase your chances of beating cancer is to have a medical examination at least once a year. This is especially true, since it is often impossible to detect oncology at the first stage, since the disease is asymptomatic. Even the most aggressive forms of cancer at an early stage are easier to treat, so it is important to understand how to diagnose a tumor in a person and what to do if it is detected.
Causes of the disease
Depending on the type of oncology, the causes vary greatly, so it is worth studying in the context of the type of pathology of interest. But there are several common causes that are relevant for all types of tumors :
- aging (oncology is more often found in patients older than 50 years);
- genetic predisposition;
- bad habits;
- chemical effect on the body;
- ionizing radiation;
- precancerous diseases;
- unfavorable external environment.
Precancerous diseases help to recognize cancer at an early stage , as the patient understands the increased risk. That is, he will be more often observed by a doctor. As a result, it is possible to identify the tumor quickly and get rid of it using conservative medicine.
When to Start Worrying
There is no universal formula that will tell you when to see a doctor. Usually patients are examined when they have complaints, but in the case of cancer, it is stage 2 or 3, when a more aggressive treatment of the tumor is required.
You can find out that you have oncology by chance during the examination as a result of the presence of another disease. In this case, the disease has not yet had time to show symptoms, and the amount of affected tissue is small. With the help of medicines, it will be possible to stop the growth of pathology and get rid of it.
If the patient is at risk, then he needs to constantly worry about the likelihood of cancer and undergo an examination. Timely diagnosis will help increase the chances of survival.
Required list of studies
Oncologists prescribe studies based on what the patient’s symptoms are, so there is no universal way how to detect cancer at an early stage . The following is usually given:
- urine and blood analysis (general and biochemistry);
- analysis of feces for the detection of occult blood;
- immunological blood test for tumor markers;
- cytological examination of a tissue sample;
- Magnetic resonance imaging;
- CT scan;
- Doppler ultrasound;
- endoscopic examination;
- radionuclide examination.
All this allows you to detect cancer before it begins to manifest itself. The method of diagnosis depends on where exactly the presence of a tumor is implied.
Which doctor to contact
Modern free medicine is designed so that the patient first gets an appointment with a therapist. Only after that he can get a referral to narrow specialists. But it is possible to apply to a commercial organization, bypassing the protocol created by the Ministry of Health, which saves time.
If the patient has suspicions of a tumor, then it is better to consult an oncologist. But usually people learn about cancer because of certain symptoms that may indicate another disease. Therefore, it is recommended that you first consult a doctor who is responsible for treating the affected organ. After a comprehensive diagnosis, he will tell if a tumor is found .
What to do at the first symptoms
Regardless of whether general or local symptoms appear, it is necessary to consult a doctor, and not ignore them. The most aggressive forms of oncology develop quickly, they can almost completely affect the organ in a few months, which leads to death.
How does advanced cancer manifest?
In the later stages, the patient experiences general weakness, sometimes the body temperature rises, and fatigue quickly occurs (even after a long rest). Locally, the following symptoms can be detected:
- a seal that speaks of a tumor node;
- the appearance of pain;
- excretions unusual for the body;
- violations of the body systems;
- skin and hair changes.
All these symptoms appear at stages 2 or 3 (depending on the form of the pathology), so they cannot be ignored. You need to see a doctor immediately to stop the growth of cancer cells and develop a plan to eliminate the tumor.
Signs of cancer. 15 Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore
It is worth considering in more detail how to identify cancer by obvious symptoms.
- Persistent chronic cough and bloody sputum. This symptom may indicate tuberculosis or lung cancer. Both pathologies are considered deadly and require immediate treatment.
- Changes in bowel function. The patient has pain, the intestines absorb nutrients worse, so the person loses weight and begins to feel worse. Within a couple of hours after eating, you may feel hungry again. During eating, the pain intensifies if the tumor has blocked half or more of the intestinal lumen.
- Bleeding from the anus and blood in the stool. Any unusual discharge from the anus is a cause for concern, so it is important to see a doctor immediately. The blood doesn’t necessarily indicate cancer, but the chances are high.
- Anemia. It is often present in stomach cancer, but can also appear in other types of cancer due to a decrease in hemoglobin in the blood.
- Violation of urination. This indicates damage to the genitourinary system. If the tumor is in the kidneys, then it begins to manifest itself already at a late stage, since there is a lot of free space around these organs. That is, by the time problems appear, metastases can spread, which requires aggressive treatment.
- Hoarseness of voice. It manifests itself when the larynx or lungs are affected. The symptom manifests itself in 3 or 4 stages.
- Induration in the scrotum in men. You can define it yourself. This indicates a varicocele, a tumor, or a number of other diseases, so an examination is required. Most men detect pathology at an early stage .
- Changes in the lymph nodes. They occur when cancer cells invade a lymph node.
- Heartburn. She talks about many pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract, including cancer. There is an endoscopy to accurately diagnose.
- Difficulty swallowing also indicates a number of pathologies, but with cancer this is already an advanced stage, which is often inoperable.
- Unusual discharge and bleeding from the vagina should attract the attention of a woman and make her turn to a gynecologist for a detailed laboratory study of these discharges and an examination for the presence of a tumor.
- Weight loss, fever and night sweats are symptoms that appear more often in stage 2.
- Bloating indicates problems in the gastrointestinal tract and is one of the symptoms of cancer.
- Changes to a mole or wart require a cytological examination to see if the change is considered benign.
- Non-healing ulcers help in the detection of skin cancer.
Knowing how you can identify oncology, it will be possible to start treatment earlier. Any of the above symptoms require immediate treatment. It is important to understand that most of them appear at 2 or 3 stages of oncology, when radical treatment is required.
Doctors know how to detect cancer in the early stages , but the symptoms in the initial stages are mild or do not appear, so patients ignore them, usually a random examination as a result of the presence of another problem determines the presence of a tumor.
If the symptoms began to appear, then they are usually general. That is, cancer masquerades as a number of other diseases, so a full examination of the patient is required to understand why he is experiencing discomfort.
Complete blood count (CBC)
KLA is considered the main analysis, which does not allow to determine the presence of oncology, but which indicates the presence of pathological changes. Suspicions of the presence of a tumor appear in the following cases:
- decrease in the number of lymphocytes;
- deviation from the norm when measuring the number of leukocytes;
- decrease in hemoglobin level;
- low platelets;
- deviations from the norm of ESR (erythrocytes quickly settle);
- the number of neutrophils is increased;
- there are immature blood cells in the blood.
If, in the presence of any of these signs, the patient has general weakness, weight fluctuations, fatigue and loss of appetite, then an additional examination using hardware diagnostic tools is required.
If the patient has urinary tract cancer, there will be blood in the urine. The presence of ketone bodies indicates the breakdown of soft tissues, which also indicates the presence of pathology (diabetes mellitus, urolithiasis, oncology).
OAM is not informative for determining other types of cancer, therefore it is not prescribed. To improve the accuracy of the results, you need to use morning urine, and before collecting it, you need to take a shower.
This analysis is required to determine pathologies in the gastrointestinal tract. It is often impossible to visually detect blood in the stool, so a laboratory test is necessary. It helps to detect hidden blood.
It is important to understand that it is better to collect feces in the morning, and the presence of blood in it does not indicate the presence of a tumor. This symptom signals many diseases, so additional tests are required to get a general picture and remove pathologies.
This is a more informative analysis than the CBC, it helps to identify abnormalities that indicate the presence of a tumor or non-oncological diseases, so it is impossible to interpret the results unambiguously. Those diagnosed with the use of biochemistry will need to undergo an additional examination in order to understand the cause of deviations from the norm.
Here’s what you need to pay attention to:
- total protein. The tumor uses the protein to grow, so its amount in the body decreases, and the patient loses his appetite. But in some forms of cancer, the amount of protein increases.
- Urea and creatinine indicate that the protein is rapidly degraded due to intoxication or poor kidney function.
- Glucose. Given that the body does not produce insulin well on its own, this parameter needs to be paid attention to. Many forms of cancer masquerade as diabetes by changing its blood levels.
- Bilirubin shows that the patient has liver problems. The risk of developing a tumor is high.
- Enzymes ALT, AST indicate probable liver cancer.
- Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme whose elevation indicates that a patient may have bone, liver, ovarian, uterine, or gallbladder cancer.
- Cholesterol. If its level drops significantly, then the doctor suspects liver cancer or the appearance of metastases in it.
Biochemistry must be taken on an empty stomach, blood is taken from a vein. The first results may not be very informative, since cancer does not manifest itself very much in the early stages, but even a slight deviation from the norm requires an additional examination to rule out oncology.
With its help, it is possible to detect a tumor in the lungs. It appears as dark areas in the image. But it can also indicate other diseases (for example, tuberculosis).
It is important to understand that fluorography allows you to get images of relatively low quality. There are many artifacts on them, so the doctor may miss oncology at an early stage if the tumor is small.
If cancer is suspected, a CT scan is required. With the help of a contrast injected into the body, the detected neoplasm becomes clearer, which makes it possible to make an accurate diagnosis.
Diagnosis of cancer by special methods
To identify a certain type of cancer, special methods of examining patients are used, which allow you to determine the presence of pathology even at an early stage, when the symptoms have not yet manifested. The survey accuracy is high. But to get the full picture, several diagnostic methods are used to draw up the most effective treatment plan. This approach to diagnostics minimizes the likelihood of an error. For example, when the doctor did not see oncology, mistaking it for an artifact in the picture.
Blood tests for tumor markers
This analysis is assigned in the following cases:
- suspicion of the presence of a tumor;
- detection of cancer as part of an examination to determine the nature of the neoplasm;
- determining the source of cancer cells;
- evaluation of the effectiveness of the treatment;
- monitoring the patient’s condition in order to detect relapse in a timely manner.
Donate blood on an empty stomach in the morning. On the eve of the procedure, it is forbidden to drink alcohol, and within an hour before the procedure, you need to stop smoking.
There are various markers that allow you to determine the presence of a particular type of oncology. Patients who have been treated and have beaten cancer should be tested for tumor markers every 3-4 months.
Instrumental methods include devices that allow you to get a picture. It will show the affected area. These diagnostic methods include:
Each of the research methods has its own characteristics. It is required to give an appointment based on where the tumor is supposed to be. For example, FLG is used to detect lung cancer. For other forms of pathology, this method of diagnosis is ineffective.
Specialized devices allow you to see the big picture, so the doctor will understand how affected the tissue is and what stage of oncology the patient has. Based on this, he will decide on a treatment plan.
Endoscopy helps to detect cancer of the gastrointestinal tract. The probe is inserted into the patient’s intestines and helps to determine the change in the mucous membrane. If necessary, it is possible to take a biopsy in order to examine in detail the condition of the soft tissues.
Several types of endoscopic examinations are used, depending on the form of cancer being recognized :
- Fibrobronchoscopy is used to study the condition of the bronchi, the relief of their folds and the vascular pattern. If necessary, this type of examination allows you to take biomaterial for laboratory study.
- Video esophagogastroduodenoscopy is used to study the esophagus, stomach, and the beginning of the duodenum. The doctor assesses the condition of the mucous membrane and takes the biomaterial if necessary.
- Sigmoidoscopy allows you to examine the mucosa of the rectum and colon.
- Colonoscopy provides a complete examination of the patient’s rectum. It, unlike sigmoidoscopy, allows you to make a biopsy.
Find out if you have cancer cells in your GI tract with these simple tests.
Microscopy is a detailed study of the affected tissues. For study use:
- tissue fragments;
- mucous secretions;
- biological fluids;
- swabs from organs;
- pathological discharge;
- contents of tumors.
Examination under a microscope allows you to determine whether the neoplasm is malignant, at what stage the pathology is and to distinguish metastases from primary foci.
Recommended Screening Tests
5 types of screening studies are used to detect a tumor in a patient.
- Mammography. It is performed at least once every 2 years to detect breast cancer in women.
- Colonoscopy is required every 10 years, and tests for fecal occult blood every six months. These tests are recommended for men and women over the age of 45 to detect colorectal cancer.
- A Pap test every 1-3 years and a test for the presence of the human papillomavirus can detect cervical cancer. This study is necessary for women from 25 years of age.
- A low-dose CT scan should be performed once a year for all smokers and patients over 50 years of age to diagnose lung cancer at an early stage.
- A PSA test is taken by men over 50 every 2-3 years to detect prostate cancer.
These terms are considered conditional. If the patient has symptoms that require a detailed examination, then there is no need to wait until the time comes for screening.
Detection of cancer of various organs
Depending on the location of the tumor, the methods of its diagnosis will vary greatly. Some forms of cancer can only be examined in detail with the use of special probes, which also help to take a biopsy. Other forms can be seen at the initial examination by a doctor.
It is worth considering in more detail how you can find oncology at an early stage in various organs.
This form of oncology manifests itself as follows:
- cough that does not respond to treatment;
- shortness of breath and chest pain;
- wheezing and noises in the lungs;
- the appearance of blood in the sputum;
- skin rashes;
- muscle weakness;
- increased fatigue and tiredness.
Typically, lung cancer develops in smokers and in patients over 45 years of age who live in a region with an unfavorable environmental situation.
For diagnostics are used:
- blood test for tumor markers.
In most cases, surgery is required. If the tumor is too large and inoperable, then first they try to shrink it with chemotherapy, making it operable. After that, an operation is scheduled.
All surgical interventions for lung cancer are complex and are accompanied by the risk of dangerous complications. The MAMMA clinic employs surgeons with extensive experience in performing such operations. Operations are performed in operating rooms equipped with the latest equipment.
It is easy to find on your own during the inspection. In the breast area of a woman, seals appear, which indicate the presence of neoplasms. Risk factors include:
- poor environmental conditions;
- age from 40 years;
- hormonal disruptions;
- insufficient physical activity.
In the diagnosis, visual examination, palpation and mammography are used. In difficult cases, MRI is additionally used. To make a final diagnosis, a morphological study is carried out. That is, a biopsy is taken to study the material in the laboratory. This allows you to determine the nature of the pathology and the stage of its development.
Usually patients go to the doctor in the later stages, when they feel pain in the abdomen, severe heartburn, heaviness. But preventive studies help to detect a tumor in the early stages.
For diagnostics are used:
- tumor markers;
- OAM and UAC;
- hardware diagnostics using a probe;
The tumor is treatable at any stage, but the survival rate in the advanced stages is 5%, so it is important to have an annual medical examination.
All modern methods of treating bowel cancer are available at the MAMMA clinic. Our doctors have extensive experience, they also use the latest generation of anticancer drugs, we work according to international protocols.
Most often, this form of cancer occurs in patients who:
- suffer from diabetes mellitus, chronic pancreatitis;
- over 60 years old;
- have poor heredity.
Obesity is also a risk factor. Pancreatic cancer is more common in men than in women.
- Ultrasound of the abdominal cavity;
- endoscopic studies;
- blood test for tumor markers.
Treatment occurs with the use of chemotherapeutic methods, as well as surgical intervention. In an advanced stage, the tumor can metastasize to nearby organs: the stomach, intestines.
It is considered one of the most aggressive forms. For example, a five-year survival rate with it is no more than 10%. The problem with this pathology is that the symptoms appear at a late stage, when even aggressive treatment rarely helps. In the early stages of development, oncology is detected as a result of examination as a result of the presence of other diseases.
If gastric cancer is suspected, the patient is referred to:
- blood test for tumor markers;
- Ultrasound of the abdominal organs;
- Ultrasound of the neck and supraclavicular areas to exclude the presence of Virchow’s metastases;
- chest x-ray;
- positron emission tomography.
In some cases, exploratory surgery is required. In this case, a minimally invasive laparoscopy method is used.
A CBC is required to detect anemia, and a stool test is done to determine if there is occult blood in it.
In our clinic, you can get effective treatment for any stage of stomach cancer, in accordance with the characteristics of the course of the disease in a particular patient.
To diagnose this pathology, use:
- colposcopy and biopsy;
- coherence tomography;
- fluorescence spectroscopy;
- CT, PET, MRI;
- oncomarker analysis.
Treatment directly depends on the type of cancer and the stage of its development. This type of cancer is considered one of the most common in women, but if treated early, the prognosis is good. There is a chance to defeat pathology even at stage 4.
There are several reasons for the development of this pathology:
- disruption of the endocrine system;
- genetic predisposition;
- hormonal drugs;
- background diseases;
- age changes.
For diagnosis, a set of measures is used that allows you to understand whether the changes are really caused by a tumor, what type of tumor is present in the patient, and at what stage the disease is. Here are the diagnostic methods used today:
- hysteroscopy (visualization of the tumor);
- biopsy (obtaining samples of affected areas);
- blood test to determine tumor markers;
- Ultrasound of the pelvic organs;
- CT and MRI of the internal organs of the abdominal cavity;
- chest x-ray;
Regardless of the stage of the disease, surgical intervention is used, as it is considered the most effective. If the tumor has not metastasized, but a sufficiently large part of the uterus is already affected, then its removal is recommended.
At Mamma Clinic, you can get effective treatment for any stage of gastric cancer, in accordance with the characteristics of the course of the disease in a particular patient.
The main causes of ovarian cancer include:
- age from 55 years;
- late birth or lack thereof;
- excess weight;
- taking estrogen during menopause;
- hormone therapy for a long time;
- genetic predisposition.
Diagnostics includes the following:
- PET CT;
- tumor marker research.
Treatment includes chemotherapy and surgery.
There are several ways to diagnose this pathology in men:
- blood test for tumor markers;
- transrectal ultrasound;
- MRI of the pelvis with the use of contrast;
To get a complete picture of the pathology, doctors can prescribe a biopsy in order to study in detail the condition of the affected tissue and understand at what stage the oncological disease is developing.
There are several ways to perform a biopsy:
- Through the rectum.
- Through the crotch.
Minimal damage to soft tissues occurs through the rectum, but tissue sampling through the perineum is more informative. It is performed under spinal anesthesia and involves sampling from 24 or more different points.
Given the peculiarity of the location of the kidneys, the patient consults a doctor only in the later stages. A high probability of developing pathology in smokers, patients with renal insufficiency and in those who suffer from high blood pressure. For diagnosis, a general urine test is taken and ultrasound is used.
A CT scan is required to obtain a more informative image. Contrast allows you to color the affected area in order to understand how badly the organ is affected.
If the treatment involves surgical embolization of the renal arteries, then a renal angiography is also required to study the features of the blood supply to the organ.
The cost of diagnostic procedures
The cost of diagnostics depends on the specific type of examination. It is necessary to study the price list of the medical company of interest. There are also occasional promotions that allow you to save money.
If you are treated in municipal clinics, then sometimes you have to wait in line for an examination. In the case of oncology, waiting can be fatal, as some of its forms progress rapidly.
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