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What Are the Types of Cancer? Here Are 6 Tests for Cancer Diagnosis

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
December 17th, 2021
6 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Screening tests for cancer may result in early cancer diagnosis
  • Early cancer diagnosis gives you a better chance of successful treatment
  • There are different tests for cancer depending on the types of cancer

Cancer is a life-long and life-threatening disease. However, with early cancer diagnosis, you can give yourself the best options for treatment and a good chance of remission. In most cases, a single test is not enough for effective cancer diagnosis [1]. Your oncologist may ask for a complete family history, a few physical tests along with some lab tests for cancer.

The tests you may need to take depends on the types of cancer suspected by your oncologist. Read on to know about the major types of cancer and tests for cancer diagnosis.

Carcinoma

It is formed in the epithelial cells that cover the inside and outside of your body. The names of different carcinomas depend on which type of cell they affect. Here are the common ones.

  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Invasive ductal carcinoma
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

Leukemia

It is the cancer that starts at the blood forming tissues of bone marrow. It does not form tumors but trigger an abnormal white blood cell count. The decrease in normal blood cells makes it difficult for your body to fight off infections, control bleeding, or oxygenate the tissues.

tests for cancer

Melanoma

When your melanocytes are affected by cancer, it is called melanoma. These cells make melanin, a pigment that colors the skin.

Additional read: A Guide on Melanoma Skin Cancer: What are the Symptoms and Causes?

Sarcoma

Cancers that are present in bones and soft tissues like muscle, fat, or fibrous tissue are called sarcomas. The most common type is osteosarcoma.

Lymphoma

When the cancer begins in T or B cells, it is termed as lymphoma. In this type, there is an abnormal build up of lymphocytes. This build up may be present in your lymph vessels, nodes, or in other organs of your body.

As per your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe the following tests for cancer diagnosis.

tests for cancer

Cancer Test Name List

Lab Tests

Blood Test

Doctors may ask for a complete blood count test which measures the different types of cells present in your blood. The number of normal and abnormal cells may help determine whether you have blood cancer or not. Protein testing is another type of blood test doctors may prescribe. This helps in detecting abnormal elevated protein of the immune system which can be a sign of cancer. Blood tests also help look at tumor markers which are produced by the cancer cells.

Urinalysis

This is done to detect abnormal cells present in your urine. Used with other tests, this helps diagnose bladder cancer or urinary tract cancers. Doctors recommend it if you notice blood in your urine.

Positron Emission Tomography

This is also known as a PET scan. This test helps in cancer diagnosis and determining its stage. It is more sensitive than other imaging tests. It helps find abnormal activity in the organs and tissues of the body. It also helps your doctor determine:

  • The place for biopsy
  • Whether the treatment is effective
  • Any growth after completion of treatment

Additional read: Want to Know About Different Types of Cancer? Here is a Handy Guide

Reflection Imaging

In this, high frequency sound waves are bounced off your internal organs. This helps your doctor take pictures of the inside of your body. Some types of reflection imaging are:

  • Ultrasound

It is used to look at the structures and organs of your body.

  • ECG (Echocardiogram)

It is used to look at your heart. The waves give a picture of heart and other parts of the heart like valves.

Reflection imaging does not give you exposure to radiation and may take better pictures than X-rays.

Screening Tests

These tests aim to detect cancer before it shows any signs or symptoms. Cancer diagnosis at this stage is more effective because you can prevent it from worsening. Different types of cancer have their individual screening tests. Regular screening tests also help in reducing the fatality caused by cancer [2]. Development of new screening tests is an area of active research today.

The cancer test price will depend on the type of test as well as the place where you are undergoing the procedure. In case of multiple tests, you can go for a cancer test package. Consulting your doctor at the earliest signs of cancer may help you get better treatment options as well as a chance of remission. With Bajaj Finserv Health, you can book an appointment with the best oncologists in minutes! You can also book full body check-up packages to stay on top of your health.

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