Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Diagnostics and Screening

Learn more about how cancer is diagnosed and staged, and how certain screenings play a role in diagnosing and preventing the disease.

What's the difference in skin cells? Melanocytes and basal, squamous and Merkel cells

CTCA

Skin

Consider the remarkable functions the skin performs every day. It's only 1.5 millimeters at its thickest point, but it protects the muscles and organs from outside threats. It can take a pounding, enduring bumps and bruises, the sun’s burning rays and the grime left by dirt and dust. It moves and stretches when you do, but even when the body is at rest, the skin is a bustle of cellular activity.

Is there such a thing as a safe suntan?

CTCA

Safe tan

With summertime comes warm days in the sun, baseball games, barbecues and lazy days at the beach. And, for many, it's the time to celebrate the end of winter with a deep, "healthy" summer tan. But is there a way to safely tan your skin without exposing it to the damage that may lead to skin cancer?

What are the signs of breast cancer?

CTCA

Signs of breast cancer

If your tire goes flat, a warning sign may appear on the dashboard. If your smartphone battery is low, it may send you an alert. The human body has a similar alarm system. From hives and rashes to pains, fever and vomiting, your body has its own way of letting you know something’s wrong. Some signs are more subtle than others. Breast cancer is one disease that often causes a variety of more obvious signs and symptoms that may alert you to a potential concern to share with your doctor.

What does a BRCA gene mutation mean for men?

CTCA

BRCA mutation

With all the awareness around breast cancer these days, lots of attention has been focused on the risks posed by BRCA gene mutations. But many people mistakenly believe that BRCA is only a concern for women, even though men are just as likely as women to have a BRCA mutation. “Because men have a much lower risk than women of developing cancer due to a BRCA mutation, they are less likely to be tested for the mutation,” says Melanie Corbman, Genetic Counselor at our hospital in Philadelphia.

What men should know about new prostate cancer screening guidelines

CTCA

PSA

Prostate cancer screening made headlines again recently because of a change in the recommendations about the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent and influential panel of experts, updated its guidance from 2012. The new guidelines, which are still in draft form as the task force seeks public comment, indicate an evolution in the panel’s thinking.

The psychiatrist: The doctor you didn't expect to need on your cancer journey

CTCA

psychiatrist:

As a cancer patient, you may see many doctors and clinicians from a variety of medical disciplines during your treatment journey. A medical oncologist often leads the care team and helps determine a course of treatment. You may see surgeons or receive treatment from a radiation oncologist. Nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and others may serve as key members of your care team. Then there is the psychiatrist.

What's the difference? Small cell and non-small cell lung cancer

CTCA

 small cell non-small cell

Diagnosing and treating lung cancer requires far more than measuring the size of cancer cells under a microscope. But those sizes are a critical first step in understanding the distinction, scope and extent of the disease and its treatment options. That’s because, even today, lung cancers are generally divided into two categories: small cell (SCLC) and non-small cell (NSCLC), named when pathologists first differentiated lung cancers by the size of the affected cells.

What's the difference? Genetics vs genomics

CTCA

genetics vs genomics

Although commonly used interchangeably, the terms “genetics” and “genomics” are not synonyms. Both involve the study of genetic material and both are derived from the Greek word gen, which means birth or origin. But the similarities largely end there.