Your doctor will:
Look in your eyes, ears, nose, and throat.
Listen to your lungs, heart, and belly
Feel and apply pressure to some parts of your
body to see if organs are of normal size, are
soft or hard, or cause pain when touched.
If something abnormal is found by you or your doctor,
let’s say during a routine visit, you will need to have
more testing done. These tests may include lab tests
that collect blood, urine, or other fluids from your body.
Blood tests are an important part of cancer diagnosis
and. During the diagnosis phase, blood tests will be
used to check your overall health and to look for
signs that cancer is present.
Before blood tests can be run your doctor will need
to get blood samples. This can be done at a doctor’s
office, a laboratory, or in the hospital. The blood is
collected by a nurse or a phlebotomist, a technician
who specializes in taking blood samples.
The complete blood count
It’s likely that you’re going to have quite a few
blood tests during the course of your diagnosis and
treatment. One of the most common is the CBC
ount). The CBC is a measure of
the various types of cells found in the blood, including
the white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
After your blood is taken, it is checked to find the
actual number of each cell type in the sample. These
numbers are then compared to the normal range for
those cells in a healthy person who is about your age.
Blood chemistry tests
In addition to the CBC, your doctors will probably
order frequent blood chemistry tests to keep track of
what’s happening in other parts of your body. Blood
chemistry tests measure the levels of minerals,
enzymes, and waste products that are normally found
Dealing with the diagnosis
How is cancer diagnosed?
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer, Version 1.2017
Your medical history:
What you share about your medical history will help
determine what treatment is best for you. It’s important
to be honest and tell the doctor everything you know.
Let the doctor know if you drink alcohol, use
recreational drugs such as marijuana, or take over-
the-counter medications, supplements, or natural
treatments. Talk about your sexual history and habits.
Remember, doctors aren’t there to judge you. They
need to learn everything they can about you to make
the best possible choices for your care.