Needless to sugar coat things, cancer is by far among the most feared diseases on the planet, and for a good reason. This is because, especially in the advanced stages, there’s no known, definite cure for cancer.
And yes, several treatments are available for various kinds of the disease, some of which have been known to completely fight the diseases off in some patients. Yet to some, being diagnosed with cancer can easily feel like a death sentence.
But all this aside, there’s always hope even after being given the sad news by your doctor. In this piece, we shall look at the various ways cancer is diagnosed, alongside some of the crucial steps you can take if you’re worried you have cancer
Common Ways Used to Diagnose Cancer
As you may or may not know, cancer is among the most complex diseases where the patient may exhibit a wide range of symptoms and signs as cells in the affected part of the body start dividing uncontrollably. Many of these symptoms may even be similar to those of other illnesses, and their severity may depend on the stage of the disease.
This is why physical observation is usually not considered enough to tell whether or not you’re suffering from cancer. To rule out other health issues, diagnosing a malignancy usually takes a higher level of scrutiny.
To confirm a case of cancer, your doctor may rely on one or a combination of several checks, including:
- Lab tests: This entails checking for certain substances in body fluids, blood, and urine for the presence of cancer indicators
- Imaging: Like X-ray, MRI, Ultrasound, CT scan,
- Biopsies: These usually involve studying a tissue sample from the patient’s body. It can be obtained through surgery, endoscopy exams, or using a needle.
What If You’re Misdiagnosed?
While cancer misdiagnosis is usually rare, it might be more common than you think. It can also come in many forms.
For instance, you might be told that you have cancer, when you’re actually suffering from a different illness, or the doctor might fail to catch your illness early enough to recommend the appropriate treatment as early as possible because a diagnosis was delayed.
As outlined at https://delayedcancerdiagnosis.org/, any form of cancer misdiagnosis can result in devastating effects on the patient. It’s also a professional offense punishable by the law, and as a victim, you may qualify for compensation.
5 Steps to Take If You Suspect That You Have Cancer
1. Don’t Panic
We live in the information age – and a digitally-advanced one for that matter. And as much as information is power, it’s quite easy to misinterpret the information you get through the various platforms from your digital device, especially when it comes to the signs and symptoms associated with health issues.
So, regardless of what makes you suspect that you might have cancer; one of the most important steps you can take is not to panic!
2. Talk to Someone You Trust About It
Talking to your doctor, friend, sibling, significant other, boss, or even a counselor about your fears can help you take the first step and even ease your mind. The trusted person can help give you hope and comfort while guiding you through your treatment journey if it turns out to be true.
3. Go for Cancer Screening
The only way to tell if you really have cancer is by going for cancer screening. And, as mentioned early, it might take a series of tests and scans before a healthcare professional can conclude that you indeed have cancer.
4. Get a Second Opinion
This step can go a long way in ruling out medical misdiagnosis while preventing other forms of possible medical malpractice – which is apparently one of the most common types of personal injury these days – in the future. Even after being diagnosed with malignancy, it’s always a good idea to confirm the diagnosis from a different doctor or healthcare facility.
Especially if ambiguous symptoms are evident, some cancer patients even go a mile further to seek a third opinion on the diagnosis as well as the proposed treatment.
If you suspect that you have cancer, or it’s been identified through different tests, you need to see your doctor so you can confirm the diagnosis. And as much as they say that prevention is always better than cure, early intervention is as good as a cure when it comes to cancer.