Making the Diagnosis
An Accurate Diagnosis: The First Step in Effective Cancer Treatment
If your doctors suspect you have cancer, the next step is to confirm the cancer diagnosis by obtaining a sample of the suspicious tissue and having an experienced pathology team analyze it to see if it contains cancer cells. All of these services are provided on site at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital by our specialty-trained physicians. These experienced doctors are also on the faculty of NewYork-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center. Our expert diagnostic services include:
Interventional oncologists perform innovative procedures using minimally invasive approaches and image guidance to diagnose cancer and cancer-related problems. They have experience evaluating suspicious areas and accessing tissue through image-guided biopsy in our outpatient radiology suite. Some of these procedures are also used to manage cancer-related problems such as blockages in the bile ducts or the gastrointestinal tract.
Surgery is often the first step in making a cancer diagnosis, staging the tumor, and starting treatment. The ability to offer surgical biopsy procedures in the same building as the other components of our cancer program and to have an on-site pathology review is not only convenient for our patients, but also allows for timely and coordinated care.
Pathologists are the doctors who analyze tissue samples to determine whether or not they are cancerous. NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence pathologists are Columbia University Medical Center faculty members and are readily available to make an accurate diagnosis. They can also arrange for biomarker testing and genomic analysis of your cancer to help your oncologist select targeted therapies for your tumor.
Staging the Cancer
In order to customize a treatment plan for you, our doctors need to know the exact location and size of your cancer and determine if cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes or other areas of your body. This process, called staging, dictates the treatment approach that is most effective for you.
In addition to other imaging exams and surgery, your oncology team may use positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scanning to stage your cancer in order to provide recommendations about your care. They use our PET/CT scanner, located in the Cancer Center, to evaluate whether suspicious areas are cancer, and if so, to identify the extent of disease, monitor your response to therapy, and detect tumor recurrence.