Your doctor will use various tools, techniques and technologies, including screening, to diagnose your cancer and personalise your treatment.
Doctors use cancer screening tests to identify, analyse and screen cancer cells within the body.
Screening tests can help clinicians to:
- detect early signs of undetected cancers;
- monitor the growth and spread of existing diagnosed cancers; and
- provide personalised guidance on effective treatments, such as chemotherapy, drugs, and natural supplements that could benefit you.
During a test, scientists will screen your blood for specific biomarkers.
These natural biomarkers, such as circulating tumour cells and circulating free DNA, can be used to provide your clinician with the information they need to monitor, measure and manage cancer.
Cancer is diagnosed in different ways, depending on the type of cancer that you have.
In the majority of cases, cancer is diagnosed by an expert who has examined cells or tissues under a microscope to identify any abnormalities.
Some of the ways a clinician may diagnose cancer include:
Initially, your doctor is likely to perform a physical exam to feel your body and identify any lumps that could be cancerous tumours.
A doctor may request tests to be carried out, such as urine tests and blood tests that they will use to identify specific forms of cancer.
RGCC offers 11 advanced non-invasive blood tests can accurately detect early signs of cancer, monitor the spread of existing cancers and provide personalised guidance on targeted treatments and therapies. Find out more here.
In cancers where there is a tumour, a sample of this tumour – called a biopsy – can be tested. This process is called pathology and is the most typical way of diagnosing cancer.
RGCC’s liquid biopsy test is a non-invasive test that can detect cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream, which can help doctors diagnose certain forms of cancer and monitor its spread. Find out more here.
Depending on the suspected cancer, imaging tests may be required. Imaging tests used to detect cancer include bone scans, computerised tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) scan, ultrasound and X-rays.
A clinician will use a combination of these methods to arrive at a definitive diagnosis of cancer.
New technologies such as NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) and liquid biopsies are helping clinicians detect and manage cancer better. Some of these tests are available privately – however, you should discuss these options with your doctor before proceeding.