Screening tests can detect cancer before symptoms appear. For breast, cervical, and colon/rectal cancer, research has shown that regular screenings will reduce deaths from these cancers. Screening test are also available and being studied for lung and prostate cancer.
Diagnostic tests include imaging (CT, PET or MRI scans), laboratory tests (including tests for tumor markers), tumor biopsy, endoscopic examination, surgery and genetic testing.
From these tests, your doctor can determine where the cancer started, its level of growth, and what treatment options will be best for you.
Genetic testing is among the newest and most sophisticated techniques. It is the examination of your DNA molecule for the presence of specific enzymes or proteins. Results of genetic testing help to determine the chance of developing specific cancers. If you have a family history of breast, colon, ovarian, prostate or endocrine cancer, speak with your doctor about genetic testing. Click here for additional information on genetic testing.