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Sibley Memorial Hospital

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Cancer Screening

Early diagnosis of cancer is the most important factors in a successful outcome. At Sibley, our specialists have a wide range of detection methods that can be used to detect and stage disease as early as possible in order to begin planning treatment. Some of these methods include:

  • Biopsy, in which a tissue sample is removed surgically (often with a small needle) and studied under a microscope to find cancer cells.
  • Endoscopy, where a flexible plastic tube with an extremely small camera is inserted into the body in order to look at tissues for abnormalities. Endoscopes are used for the diagnosis of internal cancer (for instance, to investigate growths in the colon), and are often used to collect tissue samples for biopsies.
  • Imaging uses a number of technologies to take pictures of the body in order to better detect forms that have the signature structures of cancer. The specific methods used in imaging can range from x-rays which are used to detect abnormalities, to Positron Emission Tomography which looks at the molecular activity level within the body and can be used to help a physician precisely isolate a tumor from surrounding healthy tissue.
  • Blood tests are used for cancers where evidence can be found in the bloodstream. For instance, a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test looks at the level of a marker which may indicate prostate cancer, and tests of white blood cells may be used to look for evidence of leukemias and lymphomas.

These diagnostic tests may be used by your primary care doctor to initially provide screening. Many cancers are difficult to detect or classify, and given the importance of early detection, our experts are always available to give a second opinion. Your oncologist may want to repeat earlier tests or perform more specialized tests in order to learn more about your condition.

To get a second opinion from a Sibley oncologist, please schedule an appointment with a physician directly, or contact the Sibley Cancer Center Referral Line at 855-546-3939.