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Published on March 01, 2016

Do I have cancer? Cutting-edge tests can answer that question

You never want to hear that you have cancer. But if you do, you want that diagnosis to be swift and accurate. The earlier cancer is found—and the more information doctors have—the more likely treatments will work.

psa vialAt Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, we have advanced technologies for detecting cancer, along with a dedicated team of caring professionals who specialize in treating the disease.

Here is a brief look at some of the tests we use to diagnose and assess cancer:

Imaging tests

These can help doctors see masses anywhere in the body—without the need for surgery. The tests, which include CT and MRI scans, can also reveal how far a cancer has spread and how advanced it is.

“Imaging tests are crucial to accurately diagnosing and treating cancer,” says David Mayer, MD, chair, Department of Radiology. “We can often find cancer in its beginning stages because of these tests.”

Pathology tests

Not all lumps or growths are cancer. To determine if they are cancerous, a sample of tissue (usually from a biopsy) is viewed under a microscope by pathologists in a state-of-the-art laboratory at Mercy Fitzgerald.

“We work behind the scenes,” says Joseph M. Jaworski, MD, who specializes in oncology pathology. “But our diagnosis is key to how the patient is treated.”

Mercy Fitzgerald pathologists also go to weekly meetings called tumor boards. There, the whole medical team discusses the best way to treat each cancer patient.

“Mercy offers a comprehensive approach to cancer,” Dr. Jaworski says. “We make sure everyone is on the same page so the patient gets the best treatment.”

Need a test?

To schedule an imaging procedure at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, call 610.237.2525.

Cancer: By the Numbers

78% of all cancers are diagnosed in people 55 and older.

14.5 million+ Americans alive today have a history of cancer.

Cancer is the 2nd most common cause of death in the U.S.

Source: American Cancer Society

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