The Diagnostic Process
Once the first sign or symptom of cancer has appeared, a process is initiated to determine the cause of the discomfort and whether it is related to a cancer. To this end, in addition to the classic medical questioning (anamnesis) and a careful clinical examination, all techniques considered necessary to reach the correct diagnosis will be used.
These will include endoscopy procedures, which involve the introduction of a tube fitted with a small camera and biopsy forceps through the anus (colonoscopy), through the mouth (gastroscopy), or through the nose in order to visualise the bronchial tree (bronchoscopy), or radiological procedures such as CT or MRI scans. Tumour markers (alpha-fetoprotein, beta-HCG, CEA, etc.) can also be useful for diagnosing certain cancers or, at the very least, for guiding the diagnosis.
The definitive diagnosis of a cancer is yielded by the biopsy of the suspicious lesion and the histopathological study of the sample obtained. This biopsy will not only provide us with information about the type of tumour that we are dealing with, but it will also serve as a basis for more sophisticated molecular studies that can guide us when deciding the subsequent treatment.
In Initia Oncología we will advise you on the best diagnostic strategy to be followed if your tumour has not yet been fully studied and we will help you interpret all the data obtained after completing the necessary tests.
Moment of Notification of the Diagnosis
In most cases, patients diagnosed with cancer are already aware of their diagnosis when they first visit the oncologist's office. However, prior to the actual notification, given the whirlpool of diagnostic tests and information to which the patient is subjected, it is often not possible to establish a calm and extensive dialogue with him/her about the implications of such a diagnosis, both from the perspective of the possible treatments that it will entail and the potential repercussions of the disease on his/her quality of life.
At Initia Oncología, our Medical Oncology specialists will answer all of your questions about your cancer and about all the potential types of impact that the cancer can have on the different areas of your personal life.