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Cancer Diagnosis

Do you have cancer? How the question gets answered

More than one million Americans are diagnosed with cancer each year. This can happen in one of several different ways:

  • Sometimes the cancer is detected by accident, as a surprising finding discovered while having an exam for a different reason
  • Sometimes cancer is identified in a cancer screening—a test designed to identify cancers in the earliest and most treatable stages
  • Some patients have signs or symptoms that raise concern and lead them to a doctor and a series of tests to identify the cause
  • And some patients who've already been diagnosed with cancer are closely monitored through regular exams and medical tests. These patients may be in remission; they may have a slow-growing cancer (such as prostate cancer) that requires "watchful waiting" or they may undergo tests on a regular basis to make sure there are no new cancer developments

Learn more about how cancer is diagnosed and the tests used

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