Diagnosis and Treatment
Many types of cancer are first diagnosed through X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound,
mammography or MRIs – non-invasive imaging studies that allow physicians
to see specific areas of the body. Other cancers like lymphoma or leukemia
can be diagnosed through blood tests.
Some cancers are confirmed with a biopsy, the surgical removal of a small
section of the questionable area so it can be examined under a microscope.
Biopsies are sometimes done in an outpatient setting, at a hospital in
a lab, or surgically at a hospital.
- Three major ways to treat cancer are through:
- Surgery – a surgeon removes the tumor or area of tissue where the
tumor is located
- Medicine – a clinician uses medicine and chemotherapy to attack the
- Radiation – clinicians use focused radiation beams to kill cancerous cells
Cancer treatment often includes a combination of two or three of these
types of treatment, and each method requires a specialist in that technique.
If your treatment required surgical intervention, your cancer care team
would consult a specialized surgeon for those needs. If you need chemotherapy,
then a medical oncologist would be added to your treatment team to oversee
your chemotherapy and manage your care. Additionally, if radiation therapy
is necessary, a radiation oncologist would be the specialist to provide
These specialists work collaboratively as a team to ensure each patient
gets the treatments needed for their individual case. At Pennington Cancer
Center, we have physicians on our staff who specialize in each of the
different types of cancer, as well as different types of treatment.