Jump to Navigation

How is cancer diagnosed?

Residents of North Carolina may be interested to learn about how cancer is diagnosed. Although a lump may be found with imaging or during a physical exam, this evidence alone will not tell a doctor that the patient has cancer. Upon further testing, most tumors that grow in the body are found to be noncancerous.

If a lump is discovered in a patient's body, a doctor may determine whether or not the patient has cancer after performing a biopsy and looking at the biopsy specimen under a microscope. A biopsy is when a doctor takes a tissue sample from the tumor that is suspected of being cancerous. The process of obtaining a tissue sample and looking at it under a microscope is called pathology.

Other tests that are used for diagnosing cancer include looking at the proteins, DNA and RNA in a person's cells. In addition to establishing whether or not cancer is present in the body, these types of tests can help doctors to learn what treatment options would most benefit the patient. A tissue or cell sample may also be tested for other types of infections that can look like cancer. If a cancerous tumor is not diagnosed early, it can spread to other parts of the body.

A patient who is diagnosed with cancer early will have a much better chance of fighting off the disease than a patient who is diagnosed after it has been allowed to spread. In some cases, a doctor's failure to diagnose a patient with breast cancer or any other kind of cancer early enough can be grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Because every person's health challenges are unique, the information in this blog may not be true for every patient.

Source: Cancer.org, "How is cancer diagnosed?", October 01, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Do You Have a Case?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


OFFICE: 610-A Lynndale Court | Greenville, NC | 27858
toll free:800-391-8191 | phone:252-321-0088 | fax:252-215-1234