Diagnosing cancer can involve many different steps, depending upon how a patient first presents. In order to confirm the presence of a solid tumor, imaging of some kind is required. It is possible for pain in various parts of the body to be caused by a tumor, and when a physician orders an x-ray or CT scan to investigate, a tumor will sometimes be noted. Often, identifying exactly what type of tumor is involved requires obtaining a small tissue sample called a biopsy
. In the case of blood cancers (leukemia/lymphoma), definitive diagnosis is made through blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy in which a small amount of bone marrow is removed from the hip bones and examined under the microscope.
When you are experiencing several different symptoms that represent changes in your health such as fatigue and pain, the best thing to do is always seek medical attention with your primary care physician
. In this case, he or she will want to talk with you more about your symptoms and ask more detailed questions to try and understand what is happening. A physical exam and some basic blood tests or possibly imaging studies may also be important. Hopefully you don't have cancer, but if you are not feeling well, you definitely want to speak with your doctor
to try and find out why.