Screening is the checking of your body for cancer when you do not have any symptoms. If you are regularly screened for cancer, it helps you to detect cancer early when it is easier to treat. Being proactive will help you detect to protect your health and well-being.
There are well established screening tests which can be used to detect some of the common cancers found in Malaysia. Do speak to your doctor to determine what is suitable for you based on your risk for cancer.
For cancer screening packages at the nearest Gleneagles Hospital to you, find out here.
Gleneagles Hospitals also offer a wide range of health screening programmes that are specifically designed and can be customised based on every individual's needs. For appointments, please contact the health screening centre at the nearest Gleneagles Hospital to you.
Diagnosis is made based on various investigations. Your doctor would first question you about your general health and symptoms. Then, your doctor may employ one or more of the following approaches.
During a physical examination, your doctor examines your body for any unusual physical changes. Your doctor may look for lumps or abnormalities such as changes in skin colour. If breast cancer is suspected, your doctor may check for lumps in your breasts. An examination of the skin that reveals a yellowish tinge could be indicative of liver cancer.
Unusual levels of certain substances in your body that are not within the normal range can be a sign of cancer.
Laboratory tests can be conducted to help your doctor to identify abnormal changes that may be caused by cancer. These tests include urine test, blood test, and tumour marker test.
Tumour markers are substances which are often proteins found in blood, urine, or body tissues. They are produced by cancer cells or by other cells in response to cancer and may be used to support a diagnosis of cancer. Common tumour markers are:
- Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA): To detect colorectal (colon) cancer
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA): To detect prostate cancer
- AFP (Alpha-fetoprotein): To detect liver cancer, ovarian cancer, testicular cancer
- CA 125 (cancer antigen 125): To detect ovarian cancer (an elevated CA 125 is the most common indicator for ovarian cancer), uterine cancer, cervical cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer
- CA 19-9 (cancer antigen 19-9): To detect colon cancer, stomach cancer, bile duct cancer
- CA 15-3, CA 27-29 (cancer antigens 15-3 and 27-29): Most commonly used in women with advanced breast cancer
A biopsy is usually the definitive way to diagnose cancer. During a biopsy, the doctor collects a sample of cells. These cells are then examined under a microscope in the laboratory and some tests may also be carried out.
A biopsy may be carried out in several ways:
- Needle: A needle is used to obtain a sample of tissue or fluid. This may be used to obtain prostate or liver biopsies.
- Endoscopy: A thin, lighted tube (endoscope) is inserted through body openings such as your mouth or anus and the abnormal tissue and some surrounding normal tissue is removed through the endoscope. For example, a colonoscopy is an endoscopic examination of the colon and rectum, whereas a bronchoscopy examines the trachea, bronchi, and lungs.
- Surgery: An area of abnormal cells is removed by a surgeon during surgery. A surgical biopsy may be carried out to remove a breast lump for breast cancer diagnosis or lymph nodes for a lymphoma diagnosis.
Imaging tests allow your doctor to ‘look’ inside your body non-invasively to determine whether there is a tumour present. Some of the imaging tests used in diagnosing cancer are X-ray, ultrasound, Computerised Tomography (CT) scan, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
Digital General X-ray
Digital general X-ray uses low-dose radiation to capture images of the inside of your body on a film. ... Read more
Ultrasound uses sound waves to capture images of the internal organs and structures of your body.... Read more
Computerised Tomography (CT) Scan
Computerised tomography or CT scan is used to generate detailed cross-sectional images (slices) of bones, blood vessels, and soft tissues in your body.... Read more
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan
Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI scan uses powerful magnetic and radio waves to create detailed images of the inside of your body.... Read more
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan
Positron Emission Tomography or PET scan is an advanced scan that provides in-depth information (metabolic or biochemical function) of tissues and organs in your body... Read more
Gleneagles Hospital works with oncologists to assist patients through cancer treatment. The caring and multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals are available for consultation and to provide the best care.