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 the body for effective diagnosis of
dis-ease. Nowhere is scientific Western medicine so advanced
than in the fields of diagnosis. Although the 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.
A qualified doctor should always be the 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 the UK you are
urged to start orthodox cancer treatments within a month of
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 the ability to see inside the
body and even remove small pieces of tissue for examination
imaging: This process allows doctors to produce images of
structures within the body that are otherwise difficult to
see. For example short-wave, electromagnetic waves such as
X-rays are passed through the body. Some are absorbed and
others pass through the tissues to produce a shadow image
that is projected onto a film or screen. In x-ray images the
bones show up clearly, making it an excellent tool for
seeing problems associated with bones or hard objects within
In the 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 the body they create an outline shape of the cavities
they fill, which helps to identify problem areas.
Ultrasound scanning projects high-frequency sound waves
through the body, using a transducer against the skin. The
waves are reflected back and the 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 the computer to create cross sections or
M.R.I. (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) places the patient in
a strong magnetic field that passes waves through the body.
The computer creates an image by analysing changes in the
magnetic alignment of the hydrogen protons in our cells.
P.E.T. scanning (Positron Emission Tomography) introduces
short-lived radio isotopes into body tissues that are then
flooded with gamma rays, recorded and then analysed by
computer to produce images.
cytology and histology: Cytology is concerned with the
examination of individual cells. The main application in
cancer is in the detection of abnormal cells. Histology or
hystopathology looks at groups of cells.
laboratory studies: Scientific methodology gives us many
ways to analyse and examine bodily extracts.
What follows initial diagnosis means identifying
appropriate treatments, forecasting the probable course and
outcome of the disease (prognostication) and standardising
the design of research and treatment protocols. You may be
given the option to take part in a clinical study to help
assess the effectiveness of a new treatment. Some health
centres and surgeries are offered payoffs for enrolling
patients in clinical trials which are often ongoing ‘action
There are four main types of treatment in conventional
cancer treatment: surgery: this offers the best chance when
the cancer is contained to a single area and has a low
tendency to spread
radiotherapy: invented over 100 years ago, this treatment
bombards specific areas of the body with gamma rays.
chemotherapy: uses chemical cocktails that suppress the
growth cycles of all cells in the body.
biological therapy: This treatment uses B.R.M.’s
(Biological Response Modifiers) such as Interferon or
Interleukin-2 to modify biological systems.
Taking these treatments is no guarantee that the cancer
will not return. They do not involve looking for or
eliminating any causes. To this extent orthodox Western
medical approaches to cancer are only palliative.
This is an extract from 'Don't Get Cancer'a new ebook
available only at: