Diagnosis part 2
Making a correct diagnosis is a very responsible task any time a patient consults a physician, regardless of the supposed seriousness of the symptoms. Forming the right one will allow the patient to recover quickly or might even save his or her life, whereas making a mistake might lead to dramatic consequences.
Centuries ago, when physicians had very primitive tools at their disposal or had none at all, taking a patient's medical history was sometimes the only way to identify diseases
patients were suffering from. These days, however, there are many modern diagnostic techniques that utilize cutting-edge devices and tools, which help in diagnosis and keeping people healthy. Let's take a closer look at some of them.
The choice of a diagnostic technique depends on the symptoms a patient experiences. For example, if a female patient comes to consult a GP, concerned about a lump on her breast she discovered when she was performing self-examination, the GP will suggest doing a mammogram, which will allow a specialist to determine what the lump is exactly and if any further tests need to be done. If the mammogram indicates the presence of a tumor, then a biopsy is needed to determine whether the tumor is malignant or not.
Biopsy is not the only technique employed in case of a suspicion of cancer. The use of a particular method or device is determined by the patient's symptoms, results of the tests and the location of the tumor. For instance, if there is a suspicion of a colon cancer, an endoscopy is performed, which involves inserting a tool directly into the organ (in this case the colon). In the case of women, a common screening method used in order to detect cancerous or pre-cancerous changes in the
female reproductive system is called a Pap test, named after a Greek Doctor Georgios Papanikolaou, who invented it.