How is cancer diagnosed?

A cancer diagnosis is rarely the result of a single test or procedure. The diagnosis process combines a thorough patient history and physical examination with diagnostic testing to determine whether a person has cancer or has a condition with symptoms that mimic cancer.

Procedures used to diagnose cancer may include laboratory testing, genetic testing, biopsy, endoscopy or surgery. These procedures can help cancer experts confirm or eliminate the presence of disease, monitor the disease process, and plan for and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.

Services and Treatment Options

Medical Oncology

A type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. Depending on the type and stage of cancer, chemotherapy can cure cancer, control cancer or ease cancer symptoms. The types of drugs used during chemotherapy depend on the type of cancer being treated, whether chemotherapy has been used before and other health problems, such as diabetes.

Radiation Oncology

IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy)
Produces a dose of radiation that tightly conforms to the 3 dimensional shape of the target by varying both the beam shape and intensity across the shaped fields during this treatment. This allows your physician to sculpt the dose to more effectively treat the tumor and protect adjacent normal tissues and critical organs.

IGRT (Image Guided Radiation Therapy)
A form of adaptive radiation therapy which utilizes imaging technology to visually localize and direct radiation to the intended target. Due to organ movement within the body, the target for treatment can change based upon that movement. This target may be adjusted before treatment to insure that the correct site is treated and that critical structures are spared.

Cone Beam CT Imaging for IGRT
Cone beam technology creates three-dimensional axial CT slices of a patient's tumor, enabling therapists and doctors to compare these images with initial treatment planning images to determine how precisely focused the radiation set-up is. They can then make position adjustments, if necessary, to deliver a more targeted therapy to the patient. This technology leads to more highly customized radiation treatments, where higher doses are directed at the tumor, while sparing the patient's normal body structures.

Prostate Implants
Radio-active seeds implanted surgically into the prostate for treatment of certain forms of prostate cancer.

CT Simulation
In-house, networked CT scanning system which maximizes accuracy of treatment area by allowing 3-dimensional viewing of patient anatomy, coupled with 3-dimensional treatment planning and delivery.

Three-dimensional Treatment Planning
Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT): A treatment plan in which the profile of each radiation beam is shaped to fit the profile of the target from a beam's eye view using a multi-leaf collimator and a variable number of beams. When the treatment volume conforms to the shape of the tumor, the relative toxicity of radiation to the surrounding normal tissues is reduced, allowing a higher dose of radiation to be delivered to the tumor than conventional techniques would allow.