Diagnosis is a strength of Western scientific medicine because of its dependence on analytical procedures and processes of elimination. Modern technology has given us many ways to see into body for effective diagnosis of dis-ease. Nowhere is scientific Western medicine so advanced than in fields of diagnosis. Although philosophy of Western medicine often comes in for criticism, modern science has produced many ways in which we can examine and image organisms internally and take samples of tissue in hard to reach places.
1. Diagnosis A qualified doctor should always be first point of contact for serious disease as they have a good chance of getting you a correct diagnosis. Self-diagnosis is not a good idea except for very minor ailments. If you can, always get a second opinion on any diagnosis. In UK you are urged to start orthodox cancer treatments within a month of diagnosis.
Diagnosis for cancer uses careful clinical assessment and advanced investigative techniques such as:
endoscopy: an endoscope is a tube-like viewing instrument with lenses and lights or video cameras that is inserted into a body orifice for investigating and treating disorders. If gives doctors ability to see inside body and even remove small pieces of tissue for examination (biopsy).
imaging: This process allows doctors to produce images of structures within body that are otherwise difficult to see. For example short-wave, electromagnetic waves such as X-rays are passed through body. Some are absorbed and others pass through tissues to produce a shadow image that is projected onto a film or screen. In x-ray images bones show up clearly, making it an excellent tool for seeing problems associated with bones or hard objects within body.
In 1920's radiologists discovered that certain substances are opaque to radiation and they began to use them as 'contrast media'. When these media are introduced into body they create an outline shape of cavities they fill, which helps to identify problem areas.
Ultrasound scanning projects high-frequency sound waves through body, using a transducer against skin. The waves are reflected back and pattern of echoes produces an image. Computers are used to create better images. C.T. scanning (Computed Tomography) takes x-rays from different angles and uses computer to create cross sections or three-dimensional images.