How is Cancer Diagnosed? - Virtua Oncology

How is Cancer Diagnosed?

Sometimes many tests are needed to diagnose cancer. A tissue biopsy is needed to definitively diagnose cancer. The biopsy is usually done by a surgeon who specializes in specific types of cancer – breast surgeon/breast cancer, thoracic surgeon/lung cancer. The tissue sample goes to a pathologist who looks at the specimen to determine if it’s cancer.

Pathology is the study and diagnosis of disease through examination of organs, tissues, body fluids such as blood and urine, and autopsies. Through this examination, pathologists can study the cause and development of disease.

Samples of cells, tissues and body fluids are collected through procedures such as:

  • Endoscopies
  • Biopsies
  • Minimally invasive procedures

By examining cells, tissue and body fluids, pathologists and physicians work together to diagnose cancer.

Virtua provides board-certified pathologist who examine approximately 30,000 specimens per year including thousands of cancer tissues.

Virtua pathologists are equipped with the latest technologies including:

  • Multi-head microscopes
  • Microwave technology
  • Polymerase chain reaction method
  • Molecular imaging
These technologies and techniques give physicians more accurate information to diagnose and treat diseases. In addition, these technologies enable physicians to provide patients with results within hours instead of days.

Updated December 29, 2017