Cancer is a large group of cancer diseases characterized by rapid and uncontrolled cell growth that forms a tumor. The lack of treatment leads to only one outcome – the death of the diseased. Early diagnosis and treatment in most cases leads to full recovery.
Diagnosis of cancer
Diagnostics of cancer is divided into preventive (planned) and clarifying (late). Prophylactic cancer diagnosis is also called screening. Its purpose is to detect cancer in its early stages, so such screening is prescribed even to those who consider themselves quite healthy. In most cases, at the initial, most favorable stage for treatment, this disease has no pronounced symptoms of cancer. But modern medicine has a whole arsenal of tools and methods for diagnosing the disease in its early stages.
Since age is a risk factor for oncology, it is recommended to conduct regular examinations from a certain period of life.
All patients should do:
- colonoscopy, starting from the age of 40, every 5 years (in the presence of intestinal diseases and cases in the family, the frequency of examination is determined by the doctor);
- gastroscopy every 5 years;
- ultrasound examination of the abdominal cavity and small pelvis organs annually;
- dermatoscopy in case of any new birthmarks or changes in the existing ones;
- low dose chest CT scan, the frequency of which is determined by the doctor for all smokers with 30 years of smoking experience, as well as those who have quit smoking, but smoked not more than 15 years, starting from 55 years.
- From the age of 18, an ultrasound examination of the breast, and from the age of 40 (from the age of 35, if there is a genetic predisposition) mammography once a year;
- from 21 years of age: gynecological examination with smear for oncocytology once a year.
- From 40 years old once a year visit to a urologist, ultrasound of the prostate and control of PSA and testosterone levels.
Also, as part of the annual preventive examination should undergo laboratory examinations. The laboratory performs tests that reveal changes in the body that lead to cancer. Among them:
- general blood tests (assessment of hemoglobin levels, blood cells, SEA values);
- general urine analysis (blood, protein and ketone levels are monitored);
- Biochemical blood tests with indicators such as total protein and albumin levels, urea, sugar levels, bilirubin, ALAT enzyme, alkaline phosphatase, cholesterol and others.
If cancer is suspected, specific examinations are conducted. Thus, if a neoplasm is detected, a biopsy is performed in order to determine its nature. The biopsy is performed by taking the cells of the tumor with subsequent examination. This procedure can be almost painless with minimal invasion. In this case, a syringe with a thin needle is used to collect the material. If a trepan biopsy is performed and a thick needle is used, local anesthesia is used. But, in some cases, to perform a biopsy, a cavity operation is performed.
Treatment of cancer
There are 3 main methods used for cancer treatment: surgical;
radiation therapy; chemotherapy.
The choice of tactics for cancer treatment depends on its type, on localization and on the stage of the disease. Often, a combined treatment is required, combining all three methods. The oncologist, radiologist and pathologist (histologist) take part in treatment.
If the cancer is diagnosed in its initial stage, it begins with surgical treatment. In carcinoma, the surgeon will remove the tumor or the entire affected organ. Other methods are also used to prevent the recurrence of cancer. Radiation therapy is used to destroy metastases and treat tumors sensitive to radiation. Chemotherapy is used at different stages of cancer. Drugs are used that can destroy cancer cells or slow their growth. Proper treatment can achieve persistent remission of cancer, and in some cases, complete recovery.