The Benefits of Glioblastoma Screening

What is Glioblastoma?

Glioblastoma is a type of cancer that develops in the brain. When normal healthy cells become abnormal, they grow abnormally and out of control. One of these types of cancers in the brain is glioblastoma.

Screening for cancer means looking for cancer before it causes any symptoms. Currently, there is no screening test for glioblastoma, and it is found when evaluating the source of symptoms experienced.

Who’s at risk for glioblastoma?

There are some things that can put people at a higher risk for developing glioblastoma. These can include:

● History of radiation exposure

● Family history of brain tumors

● Family history of tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis type 1 and 2, von-Hippel Lindau syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome

● Weak immune system

Symptoms of Glioblastoma.

The symptoms that may be experienced with glioblastoma can include the following:

● Headache

● Nausea and vomiting

● Blurred vision or other vision changes

● Seizures

● Significant fatigue

● Personality changes

● Balance problems

● Difficulty speaking

● Hearing loss

● Weakness

● Numbness in some areas of the body

● Trouble swallowing

Evaluation for glioblastoma

If someone is experiencing symptoms as above, they should present to their healthcare provider for evaluation. Some of the tests that may be ordered to evaluate the symptoms can include:

● Blood tests to check blood counts, electrolytes, kidney, and liver function

● CT (computed tomography) scan of the brain

● MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the brain

If any abnormalities are seen on imaging suspicious for cancer, a biopsy may be done to check for the presence of cancer cells. In some instances, surgery to remove the tumor may be necessary for an official diagnosis of glioblastoma.

Early detection is crucial for the treatment of glioblastoma. Even though there is no certain cure for this cancer, with early diagnosis and treatment, patients have a higher chance of survival.

The most important thing is to be aware of the symptoms and to see a doctor if any changes are noticed.

Early detection of head and neck cancer

What are head and neck cancers?

Cancer develops when the DNA in a normal healthy cell mutates or changes and becomes abnormal. This abnormal cell grows uncontrollably and doesn’t follow the normal processes of cell division and death. Head and neck cancer is diagnosed when these cancerous cells grow in the head and neck areas.

Screening tests look for cancers before they cause any symptoms. The screening process for head and neck cancer is generally done for those at high risk of getting these types of cancers.

Who’s at risk for head and neck cancer?

One of the biggest risk factors for developing head and neck cancer is the use of tobacco products. These can include cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco. Secondhand smoke can increase the risk of cancer as well.

Heavy alcohol intake has also been associated with an increased risk of head and neck cancers. Other risk factors include:

● Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection

● Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection

● Male sex

● Poor dental hygiene

● History of radiation exposure

● Workplace exposures to chemicals, fumes, asbestos

● Increasing age

Symptoms of head and neck cancer

Some of the symptoms of head and neck cancer include:

● Sore throat that is not improving

● Sores in the mouth or on the lip that aren’t healing

● Hoarse voice

● Jaw pain

● Ear pain

● Lumps on the neck

● Difficulty swallowing

Evaluating for head and neck cancer

People at high risk for developing head and neck cancer should have an exam by their healthcare provider at least once a year. During this exam, the mouth and throat should be evaluated. This should include the inside of the cheeks and under the tongue. The neck should be checked for the presence of any lumps or masses.

If someone has any abnormalities on the screening exam or presents with any of the above symptoms, further studies may need to be done to find the source of the changes.

An endoscopy can be done with a special camera inserted into the mouth and moved down the throat to get a good look at all of the structures in the mouth and throat. It can also be placed in through the nose to look from that direction as well. Other imaging tests can include:

● CT (computed tomography) scan

● MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

● Ultrasound

● PET (positron emission tomography) testing

Any abnormal areas seen can be biopsied and tested for the presence of cancer cells.

Screening for head and neck cancer can be done in several ways, including a physical exam, x-rays, scans, and biopsies. Be sure to ask your doctor about which screenings are right for you.


The earlier head and neck cancer is caught, the better the chances are for successful treatment. So don’t wait – get screened today.

What you need to know about thyroid cancer screening

What is Thyroid Cancer?

The thyroid is a gland in the front of the neck responsible for hormone production. When cells of the thyroid become abnormal, cancer develops. There are no screening tests to evaluate thyroid cancer cells’ presence. A diagnosis is typically made when someone is being evaluated for the cause of symptoms they may be experiencing.

Risk factors for thyroid cancer

When evaluating symptoms, someone’s risk of developing thyroid cancer may be considered. Some of the risk factors of thyroid cancer include:

● Family history of thyroid cancer

● History of radiation exposure

● Being overweight or obese

● Diet too high or low in iodine

● Inherited syndromes such as multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN), familial adenomatous polyposis, and Cowden disease

● White or Asian race

● Ages 20 to 55 years old

● Female sex

Symptoms of thyroid cancer

The symptoms of thyroid cancer can include:

● A lump in the throat

● Hoarse voice

● Difficulty swallowing

● Swelling to the neck

● Trouble breathing

Tests for thyroid cancer

If thyroid cancer is suspected, there can be a variety of tests that can be done.

One of these tests is an ultrasound, where sound waves are used to get a picture of the thyroid gland. It will be looking for nodules that look suspicious for cancer. Ultrasound can also look at lymph nodes near the thyroid to see if they also look suspicious for cancer. Ultrasound is often used to assist during a biopsy, where a needle is inserted into a nodule to test for cancer cells.

An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) can also be done to get a detailed look at the thyroid. It is often done if ultrasound images are inconclusive.

A radioiodine thyroid scan is a test that can be done after thyroid cancer has been diagnosed. During this test, a pill containing radioactive iodine is swallowed. The iodine is taken up by the thyroid and other thyroid cancer cells in the body. Images are then taken to see if there are thyroid cancer cells outside the thyroid.

In conclusion, thyroid cancer screening is essential to detect the disease early. The American Thyroid Association recommends that people at high risk for thyroid cancer should get screened annually.

Talk to your doctor about getting screened if you think you might be at risk. Remember, early detection is key!


About liver cancer and how to know if you’re at risk

What is Liver Cancer?

The liver is an organ in the abdomen with many important bodily functions. From filtering blood, and activating enzymes to helping to metabolize nutrients, the liver has a large job in keeping the body functioning well. When liver cells become abnormal, they begin to grow out of control. This is when liver cancer develops.

Screening for cancer is done to find it early before it causes any symptoms.

Screening for liver cancer is not recommended for everyone but maybe for a high-risk group of people. Talk with your healthcare team to find out if you’re at high risk.

Who’s at high risk for liver cancer?

One of the highest risk factors for developing liver cancer is cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a liver disease in which the liver becomes scarred and doesn’t work as well as it used to. This most often occurs due to long-term liver damage, such as alcohol abuse or hepatitis infection.

Other risk factors for developing liver cancer include:

● Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

● Obesity

● Male sex

● Increasing age

● History of viral hepatitis


Screening for liver cancer

One of the tests that can be used to look for liver cancer is a blood test called an AFP. This stands for alpha-fetoprotein and is produced by some liver cancers. Overall, liver function can be checked by a blood test as well.

Imaging tests for liver cancer can include ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to produce images of the liver and can evaluate for the presence of a mass in the liver.

Another test is CT (computed tomography) scan. A CT scan can find abnormal areas on the liver that may need further investigation. Some types of liver cancer have a very specific appearance on imaging. If the AFP level is elevated and certain changes are seen on imaging, this can be diagnostic of liver cancer, even without a biopsy.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) can also evaluate the liver. This test may be more sensitive in better evaluating any abnormalities seen on ultrasound or CT.

A biopsy may need to be done on abnormalities seen on imaging to provide a diagnosis if it’s not very clear based on imaging and lab tests as above.


Speak with your doctor if you are at risk for liver cancer so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to be screened.

Screening for liver cancer is not routine, but it is important for high-risk individuals to be aware of the symptoms and get screened.

Importance of sarcomas screening

What are Sarcomas?

Sarcomas are a class of rare cancers that develop in the bones or soft tissues in the body. These areas can include muscle, fat, cartilage, and blood vessels. Cancer develops if certain cells in those areas become abnormal and begin to grow out of control. This often results in a lump that develops somewhere in the body.

There are no screening tests available to look for sarcoma. Screening tests are intended to find cancers early, before they cause any symptoms. Since sarcomas can grow anywhere in the body, there is no screening test for them. Cancer is diagnosed when evaluating the source of someone’s symptoms.

Risk factors for sarcoma

A few things have been identified that may put someone at a higher risk for developing sarcoma. These include:

● History of radiation exposure (such as for a treatment for another cancer)

● Family history of sarcoma

● Neurofibromatosis

● Li-Fraumeni syndrome

● Tuberous sclerosis

● Arsenic exposure

● Vinyl chloride exposure

Symptoms of sarcoma

As sarcomas can grow essentially anywhere in the body, symptoms can vary, and sarcoma symptoms can vary depending upon its location. Some symptoms may include the following:

● A lump somewhere on the body, which may or may not be painful

● Abdominal pain

● Bone pain

● Blood in the vomit or stool

● Chest pain

● Shortness of breath

Imaging studies for sarcoma

Because the symptoms and location of sarcoma can vary, imaging studies can also vary to evaluate the source of the symptoms. One of the first imaging studies that may be used may include a plain film x-ray.

Other tests can include a CT (computed tomography) scan, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), or ultrasound.

A biopsy may be recommended if a suspicious area is seen on any of these images. During a biopsy, some of the tissue is removed from the suspicious area and tested for cancer cells. This is what yields the official diagnosis. From there, the oncology team can develop a treatment plan.

Sarcomas are a type of cancer that can be difficult to detect early on. Screening for sarcomas is important to catch the disease early and increase chances for successful treatment. Sarcoma awareness is critical to saving lives.

You can help raise awareness by sharing this blog post with your friends and family. Thank you for taking the time to learn about sarcomas.

Early detection of pancreatic cancer through screening

What is Pancreatic Cancer?

The pancreas is a gland in the abdomen that secretes pancreatic enzymes that help digestion. In addition, the pancreas also produces insulin, which helps control blood sugar levels in the body. When pancreas cells become abnormal, they grow irregularly and out of control. This abnormal cell growth is pancreatic cancer.

Screening tests are meant to find cancer early before it causes any symptoms. This could be important for pancreatic cancer, as it is often not found until it is advanced. However, no standard screening for pancreatic cancer exists. People at high risk for developing pancreatic cancer may be suggested to have surveillance testing.

Who’s at high risk for pancreatic cancer?

People with a family history of pancreatic cancer can be at a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Some gene mutations are inherited, making it more likely for cancer development. Some of these gene mutations include:

● BRCA1 and BRCA2




Other familial cancer syndromes can be associated with a higher risk of pancreatic cancer include:

● Lynch syndrome

● Li-Fraumeni syndrome

● Familial adenomatous polyposis

● Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome

If you’re considered to be in a high-risk category for developing pancreatic cancer, surveillance imaging may be recommended. It’s important to know that this is an area in which there is no consensus on the best imaging tests or frequency and that all decisions should be made between you and your healthcare team.

Imaging Tests

Multiple tests exist that can help look for pancreatic cancer. CT (computed tomography) scans can be done, often with contrast, to see if anything looks suspicious on the pancreas. The scan can also be done with a pancreatic protocol, which is timed to get a better look at this organ.

Another test option is the ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography). This is done by a gastroenterologist, who uses a flexible camera to move from the stomach into the small intestine, and into the pancreatic ducts to see if there are any abnormalities.

Similarly to the ERCP above, an ultrasound can be guided through the stomach, small intestines, and near the pancreas to get ultrasound imaging. This is called a EUS (endoscopic ultrasound).

Other imaging tests can include standard ultrasound, MRI, and PET scan.

Screening for pancreatic cancer is important for earlier detection and treatment. Although there are currently no screening guidelines in the United States, that does not mean you cannot get screened. Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and whether or not pancreatic cancer screening makes sense.

If you are 50 years or older and have a family history of pancreatic cancer, you should discuss screening options with your physician. By increasing awareness and speaking with our doctors, we can make strides in the fight against pancreatic cancer.

The importance of leukemia screening

What is Leukemia?

Leukemia is a type of cancer of cells in the body that make blood, most often white blood cells; however, leukemia can also form in other blood cells. When these cells become abnormal, they grow uncontrollably and become cancerous. There are multiple types of leukemia, which are divided into chronic and acute leukemias.

Some cancers have screening tests available to help look for cancer development early before cancer starts causing any symptoms. Leukemia has no screening tests and is discovered when evaluating the cause of symptoms.

Risk factors for Leukemia

Some of the risk factors for developing leukemia can include:

● Smoking cigarettes

● Family history of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

● Exposure to chemicals such as benzene or Agent Orange

● History of radiation exposure

● History of receiving chemotherapy

● Increasing age

Symptoms of leukemia

Symptoms of leukemia lymphoma can include:

● Fevers, chills, night sweats

● Unintentional weight loss

● Appetite changes

● Enlarged lymph nodes

● Bleeding or easy bruising

● Frequent infections

● Abdominal pain

● Difficulty breathing

● Nosebleeds

Tests for leukemia

If you present to your healthcare provider for any of the above symptoms, they will likely start with a physical examination and evaluation of your history. They will pay particular attention to any lymph nodes that can be felt and examine the abdomen to see if the spleen can be felt. Blood work may also be done to evaluate the blood count and see how many white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets are present. Blood tests may also be done to check for infection, inflammation, or other disorders.

A blood test called flow cytometry can be done to evaluate the blood cells and see if leukemia cells are present. A bone marrow biopsy may be done to see if leukemia cells are present in the bone marrow.

Imaging studies such as a CT scan, ultrasound, or PET scan may be ordered to get a better picture of any enlarged lymph nodes in the body and to see if they look suspicious for the involvement of leukemia.

If you have not been screened for leukemia, It is important to do so if you have not been screened for leukemia. Leukemia is a type of cancer that begins in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow. The cancerous cells crowd out the healthy blood cells, making it hard for the body to get oxygen and nutrients.

If detected early, there are treatments available that can help dramatically improve your prognosis and quality of life. Talk to your doctor today about getting screened for leukemia.

Endometrial cancer: everything about screening you need to know

What is Endometrial Cancer?

Endometrial cancer is a cancer of the lining of the uterus. Cancer starts when cells become abnormal and start growing out of control in this lining. Currently, no test is used to screen for endometrial cancer. Screening tests look for cancer when it is at an early stage and isn’t causing any symptoms. Endometrial cancer is usually diagnosed when being evaluated for a symptom that it’s causing.


Risk factors for endometrial cancer

The risk factors associated with developing endometrial cancer include:

● Being post-menopausal

● Taking tamoxifen to treat breast cancer

● High-fat diet

● Starting menstruation at an early age

● Taking estrogen supplements

● Late age for menopause

● Never giving birth


Side effects of endometrial cancer

The most common symptom of endometrial cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding. Bleeding can range from light spotting to heavy bleeding. This can include bleeding between menstrual cycles or bleeding after menopause after menstrual cycles have stopped. Other symptoms of endometrial cancer include:

● Pelvic pain

● Unintentional weight loss

● Pelvic mass

Endometrial cancer imaging tests

If you present to your healthcare provider with the symptoms above, they will likely perform tests to help figure out what is going on. One of the first things they may do is a physical exam, and likely a pelvic exam to evaluate for any changes.

Imaging tests such as ultrasound may be ordered. Ultrasound is an effective imaging tool to evaluate the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. This test can be done in various ways. One way is a transvaginal ultrasound, where the ultrasound wand is placed into the vagina to obtain imaging. A pelvic ultrasound is obtained by the ultrasound wand taking images from the external lower part of the abdomen.

If any areas of abnormality are seen on imaging, a biopsy will be ordered. A biopsy removes tissue from the suspicious area to be tested for cancer cells. There are a few ways that a biopsy can be taken, depending on where the lesion is located in the uterus.

Once a diagnosis of endometrial cancer is obtained, imaging may be done to look at other areas of the body to see if the cancer has spread.

Screening can save lives, so if you are experiencing any abnormal bleeding or symptoms, please see your doctor immediately.

It is important to be aware of the risks and symptoms of endometrial cancer. Many women are unaware of this type of cancer or how to screen for it, so education and awareness are key.

Remember that you are not alone in this fight; many resources are available to help you through every step of your journey.

The Importance of regular Kidney Cancer Screenings

What is Kidney Cancer?

Kidney cancer develops when the cells inside the kidneys become abnormal and start to grow out of control. There are multiple types of kidney cancer that can grow, each starting from a different type of cell in the kidney. Some cancers have screening tests available to help find cancer early before it starts causing any symptoms. Unfortunately, kidney cancer does not currently have a screening test available and is usually diagnosed when being evaluated for some symptoms it is causing.

Risk factors for kidney cancer

The following factors can increase someone’s risk of developing kidney cancer.

● Smoking cigarettes

● Being obese

● Family history of kidney cancer

● Male sex

● Advanced chronic kidney disease

● Genetic conditions of von Hippel-Lindau, Cowden syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis

Symptoms of kidney cancer

Some of the signs and symptoms of kidney cancer can include:

● Blood in the urine

● Pain in one side or on one side of the back

● High blood pressure

● Unintentional weight loss

● Severe fatigue

● Low red blood cells

● Swelling to the legs or feet

Imaging tests for kidney cancer

Imaging tests may be done to evaluate the cause of symptoms experienced. These imaging tests can include the following:

● X-ray

● CT scan


● Ultrasound

If any suspicious areas in the kidney are found on these tests, a biopsy may be done. During a biopsy, tissue from the tumor is removed and tested for the presence of cancer cells. Sometimes, imaging is very suspicious for kidney cancer, and there is no evidence that it has spread anywhere else in the body. Surgery may be done for a biopsy to get a diagnosis with the tumor removed.

Kidney cancer is one of the most common cancers. However, it is also one of the most treatable if caught early. This makes kidney cancer screening very important for those who are at risk.

While there are no guarantees, increasing awareness and regular check-ups can help catch kidney cancer early, when treatment is most effective.


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