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Cancer Diagnosis

Cancer can be diagnosed by Physical exam: Presence of lump or tumour, change in skin color or enlargement of an organ. Laboratory tests: Urine and blood tests like complete blood picture. Imaging tests: Computerized Tomography (CT) scan, Bone scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan, ultrasound and X-ray. Biopsy: An examination of tissue removed from a living body to discover the presence, cause, or extent of a disease.

Cancer can be diagnosed by Physical exam: Presence of lump or tumour, change in skin color or enlargement of an organ. Laboratory tests: Urine and blood tests like complete blood picture. Imaging tests: Computerized Tomography (CT) scan, Bone scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan, ultrasound and X-ray. Biopsy: An examination of tissue removed from a living body to discover the presence, cause, or extent of a disease.

Most cancers are initially recognized either because of the appearance of signs or symptoms or through screening. Neither of these leads to a definitive diagnosis, which requires the examination of a tissue sample by a pathologist. People with suspected cancer are investigated with medical tests. These commonly include blood tests, X-rays, (contrast) CT scans and endoscopy.

The tissue diagnosis from the biopsy indicates the type of cell that is proliferating, its histological grade, genetic abnormalities and other features. Together, this information is useful to evaluate the prognosis and to choose the best treatment.

Cytogenetics and immunohistochemistry are other types of tissue tests. These tests provide information about molecular changes (such as mutations, fusion genes and numerical chromosome changes) and may thus also indicate the prognosis and best treatment.