How is diagnosis of cancer done?

There is no single examination, which can diagnose cancer correctly. A patient’s full assessment typically includes a comprehensive history and physical evaluation along with diagnostic tests. Many tests are required to decide if a person has cancer, or if another condition (such as an infection) imitates cancer symptoms.

Efficient diagnostic testing is used to confirm or exclude disease presence, track the disease process and prepare and determine treatment efficacy. In some cases, testing should be repeated when a person’s condition has changed, if a collected sample was not of good quality, or if an unexpected test result needs to be confirmed.

Cancer diagnostic procedures can include imaging, laboratory testing (including tumour marker testing), tumour biopsy, endoscopy, surgery, or genetic testing.


Cancer diagnosis methods:


  • Lab tests
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Endoscopic exams
  • Genetic tests
  • Tumour biopsies