A cancer diagnosis can be scary, but finding the right oncologist can ease some of the uncertainties about the future. Locating an oncologist who a patient is comfortable with is a crucial step of cancer treatment.Patients have a variety of options when it comes to locating the right oncologist.The diagnosing doctor should be the first…
What is Comprehensive Cancer Care?
Curious about what to expect when getting comprehensive cancer care? Comprehensive cancer care provides diagnosis and treatment for this disease. The term "cancer" refers to a wide variety of diseases that are characterized by the formation of abnormal cells that multiply uncontrollably and can infiltrate and destroy healthy tissues.
Most cancers have the ability to spread throughout a person's body. It is the second leading cause of fatalities around the world, but survival rates have improved a lot in recent years thanks to improved screening and treatment options.
Signs a person needs comprehensive cancer care
The symptoms of cancer often depend on the location of the cancer cells. The general symptoms are:
- A lump under the skin
- Sores that do not heal
- Changes in bladder or bowel habits
- Unexplainable weight gain or loss
- Changes in skin complexion
- Difficulty swallowing
- Unexplained bleeding
- Persistent joint or muscle pain
- Persistent fevers
Doctors recommend getting a cancer screen when any of the symptoms listed above occur regularly.
What to expect with comprehensive cancer care
Early diagnosis of cancer provides the best scenario for successful treatment. At a comprehensive cancer care center like Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center, doctors can screen and diagnose the different types of cancers. During the screen, the doctor might perform:
A physical examination: The doctor feels areas of the patient's body, looking for lumps underneath the skin. These can be a sign of cancer. The doctor will also look for other abnormalities like enlarged organs.
Lab tests: Urine and blood samples can be used to identify certain types of cancer. For example, a complete blood count test can be used to diagnose leukemia.
Imaging: The doctor can examine internal organs and bones with imaging tests like bone scans, CT scans, X-rays and ultrasound tests.
Biopsy: The doctor might also decide to collect a sample of cells for further testing in a lab. The location the cells are taken from often depends on the type of cancer the doctor is screening for. A biopsy is the most accurate way to diagnose cancer. The cells will be closely examined under a microscope, looking for signs of cancer cells.
The different cancer stages
Once a patient has been diagnosed, the doctor will determine how severe the cancer is. This is called the stage. The stage is a huge factor when it comes to creating treatment plans for the patient.
Getting cancer treatment
There are a variety of treatment options available to cancer patients. Factors like the person's general health and the severity of the cancer typically determine what the best options will be.
The goal of treatment is to provide a cure which allows the patient to leave a normal life. However, this is not always a possibility. The stages of treatment are:
- Primary treatment: This aims to kill or eliminate the cancer cells
- Adjuvant treatment: This aims to kill any leftover cancer cells after primary treatment
- Palliative treatment: This aims to reduce the side effects of cancer and its treatment. It is often done in combination with other treatments
Treatment commonly used to attack cancer cells include:
- Hormone therapy
Start cancer treatment early
Early treatment is the biggest factor that decides how successful cancer treatment is including comprehensive cancer care. Stop by our Marlton office to learn more about cancer screening and treatment.
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