Early Diagnosis in Cancer

Early Diagnosis in Cancer, Cancer is defined as a malignant mass that occurs when cells in a tissue or organ divide and multiply abnormally and uncontrollably. Detecting cancer early significantly increases the chances of treating the tumor before it spreads (metastasizes) to other organs in the body.

How is Cancer Screening Performed in Check-up Programs?

While the check-up programs are being prepared, basic examinations are carried out for the early diagnosis of cancer as well as the patient’s metabolic status, body functions, risk factors for heart diseases. Chest X-ray, abdominal and thyroid ultrasound, mammography and breast ultrasound, smear tests, stool occult blood test, PSA test are some of these basic tests and are available in all check-up packages.

How Should More Detailed Cancer Screening Be?

Anadolu Health Center Cancer Screening Check-up Panels (Cancer Screening Panel Female / Male or Exclusive Cancer Screening Panel Female / Male that can be purchased in addition to basic check-up programs)), scientifically accepted, detailed laboratory and radiological examinations (lung tomography, abdominal and brain MRI) and urology, gynecology and obstetrics, dermatology (examination of moles on the body with a dermatoscope) and ENT examinations to reveal the onset or presence of any cancer (especially detailed examination of the larynx and vocal cords). “Pre-cancer lesions” (such as a risky nodule) detected during these scans, also called pre-cancerous, are followed closely and these tumors are successfully treated without metastasis.

Can Cancer Be Diagnosed With Detailed Screening?

In recent years, great advances have been made in modern medicine for the early detection of cancer. However, it is still not possible to say whether a person has 100 percent cancer or not. Scientific studies have promising results on markers for detecting certain types of cancers at the cellular level. For example, the “cancer cell screening (CTC) method in blood” performed at Anadolu Medical Center Pathology Center is based on a simple blood test, and with the findings taken from the blood sample examined by a special device, cancerous cells and their numbers, even the type of cancer can be detected. Thanks to the CTC method, it is now possible to detect the cells of the tumor entering the blood before it reaches a certain size, that is, even before it reaches the size that can be detected by current scanning methods. This is in some types of cancer,

Especially some types of cancer (such as lung, breast, prostate, large intestine tumors) can be detected early thanks to the new method CTC. CTC method is not included in check-up packages. The first reason for this is that it is more useful in evaluating the effectiveness of the treatment of a patient diagnosed with cancer, not a screening test for a check-up patient who is considered to be healthy. Secondly, it can be used in the early diagnosis of only certain types of cancer, not all cancer types. Finally, if no cancerous cells are detected in the blood, it can never be interpreted as “100 percent there is no cancer”. Because there may be cells that have not yet passed into the blood from the growing cancerous tissue, or the cancerous cells may become unrecognizable by changing their surface properties.Therefore, failure to detect tumor cells does not necessarily mean the absence of cancer.

What is the Role of PET-CT in Cancer Screening?

PET-CT is an imaging method that combines PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and CT (Computed Tomography) techniques in the same device, while providing more information than they provide separately. Although PET-CT is a very useful method for the initial diagnosis of cancer and the evaluation of the extent of metastasis, it is not an accepted approach to use during check-up for cancer screening in a healthy person. Because all cancer types and tumors below 1 cm may not be detected with PET-CT. On the other hand, patients should not come into contact with pregnant women and small children for 8 hours after the procedure due to the radioactive substance taken by the patient in PET-CT imaging. This is an unacceptable risk for a healthy person without PET-CT indication.

Are Cancer Markers or Tumor Markers (Onco-markers) Useful in Cancer Screening?

Cancer markers are usually substances in the structure of enzymes, proteins, antigens or hormones that can be used for screening, diagnosis, classification of cancer, its response to the applied treatment and whether it has recurred. Most commonly used cancer markers: PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) prostate cancer), CA 125 (ovarian and uterine cancers, peritoneal cancer), CA 15-3 (breast cancer) CA 19-9 (pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer) cancer, biliary tract cancer, esophageal cancer) CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) colon cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, biliary tract cancer, pancreatic cancer, some ovarian cancer), HCG (Chorionic Gonadotropin) Trophoblastic tumor and testicular tumors) and AFP (testicular cancers, some ovarian cancers and liver cancer). In addition, these markers They are secreted into the blood not only from cancer cells, but also from normal cells. Therefore, diagnostic values ​​are variable and can sometimes cause confusing results.

In normal people, some tumor markers can be found in higher values ​​than normal. Smoking, presence of infection, fatty liver or the use of a drug that affects liver functions may cause these higher than normal values. In some cases, although the cancer is at an advanced stage, cancer markers may be within normal limits. Some types of cancer have no markers, such as soft tissue cancers, brain cancer, bladder cancer, laryngeal cancer. When the cancer marker is found high in a normal person, it causes the person to worry. When this height is detected for the first time, the presence of this type of cancer should be excluded by performing the necessary examinations by the relevant specialist. Annual follow-up is sufficient if there are no unexpected increases in this marker in the controls made at appropriate intervals.

In which Check-up Programs are Tumor Markers available?

Tumor markers are not included in normal check-up packages, they are presented as a separate panel (Onco-marker Panel). They are also included in the Cancer Screening Panel or Exclusive Cancer Screening Panels, and in addition, peripheral smear and protein electrophoresis examinations used in the investigation of hematology malignancies such as bone marrow-derived multiple myeloma, leukemia and lymphoma are also included in these detailed cancer screening panels.

How Are Hereditary Cancer Genetic Screenings Performed?

It has been shown that cancer is caused by certain changes in genes. These gene changes are mostly the result of the chemicals that the person is exposed to in the genetic structure, radiation, sun, and habits such as smoking. Some of these gene changes are also inherited, meaning that the person may have inherited genes that make them more susceptible to cancer from their family. As a result, these changes in the gene structure of the person disrupt the mechanisms of cell proliferation, differentiation and cell death, and cancer occurs when the cells begin to multiply uncontrollably.

With OnkoGenetics Hereditary Cancer Panel, 275 genes (APC, ATM, BMPR1A, BRCA1, BRCA2, BRIP1, CDH1, CDK4, CDKN2A, CHEK2, EPCAM, MEN1, MET, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, MUTYH, NBN, PAL) It can be determined whether it carries mutations that may be associated with it. In particular, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutation Analysis test specifically evaluates the risks of patients with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer.

Who is recommended for hereditary (hereditary) cancer genetic screening test?

  • Those who have first-degree relatives diagnosed with cancer,
  • Those who have two or more relatives diagnosed with cancer in the family,
  • Those under the age of 50 whose family member has been diagnosed with cancer,
  • In cases where various members of the family have the same type of cancer,
  • In cases where there is more than one type of cancer in the same individual,
  • People with a rare type of cancer in one or more members of the family
  • Those who have any of the above-mentioned genetic risk factors can receive an extra tube of blood during check-up, and the “OnkoGenetics Hereditary Cancer Panel and 275 Genes” panel can be performed.

What is the Role of Colonoscopy in Cancer Screening?

All check-up packages include occult blood test in stool (great ablution). Normally, there should be no blood in the stool (Blood thinners with potential bleeding risk are discontinued 3 days before the check-up). It is also questioned whether the person has hemorrhoids (hemorrhoids) or anal fissures (cracks).

People with occult blood in the stool are asked to have this test done again after a reasonable period of time, and if it is detected again, it is recommended to have a colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is not included in check-up packages. As a general approach, control colonoscopy is recommended for all men or women aged 50 and over, whether or not they have occult blood in their stool. It is recommended that people with a family history of colon cancer have a control colonoscopy before the age of 50. Gastroenterology specialists decide how often colonoscopy should be checked according to the pathology results and the patient’s family history. In the pathological examination of the removed polyps, if there are those with a high risk of cancer among these polyps, the patient is taken to closer colonoscopy follow-ups.

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