What is cancer?

Cancer refers to any one of a large number of diseases characterized by the development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body tissue.

Why must I have a biopsy before my cancer is treated?

Having a biopsy is necessary to confirm that the condition being treated is indeed cancer. This is because there are conditions that look like cancer but are completely benign. Treating a benign condition as a cancer leads to unnecessary risks to the patient. 

What are some of the newer treatment options for cancer?

Today, there are a variety of options available to treat cancer, depending on the location and the particular cell differentiation. These options include: 

  • Oral medications
  • Gene Therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Oncologic Surgery
  • Radiation

Some cancers only require treatment with one of these therapies, while others respond better to a combination of them. The treatment team discusses all possible options, risks, and benefits with the patient and if desired, with family, so the patient can make an informed decision.

Why is it important to have scans and bloodwork, after already having had a biopsy?

A biopsy confirms the diagnosis. Additional testing, including bloodwork and imaging, help assess the stage and extent of the disease. This guides the physician in planning appropriate treatment.