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By Lyman Lyons

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Rodriguez made a 6-inch (15 cm) incision through the layers of skin, fat, and muscle from just below Lisa’s navel down to the pubic bone. The incision was spread and kept open with a tool called a retractor to create a large working area. Dr. Rodriguez cut the blood CUTTING OUT TUMORS: SURGERY vessels and ligaments that are attached to the uterus and tied off the blood vessels to prevent bleeding. He then cut below the cervix to separate the uterus from the vagina, and removed the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

Because these symptoms may not seem severe at first, a person may wait for months before consulting a doctor, hoping that the symptoms will go away. Such a delay allows the cancer to grow and makes it more difficult to treat. The American Cancer Society has a list of symptoms that may indicate cancer. A person should consult a doctor if any of them appear. Fortunately, most of these symptoms have other causes that are less serious than cancer. Here are some of the symptoms: 30 DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF CANCER ♦ A thickening or lump in the breast or other part of the body ♦ Recent changes in a wart or mole, or other skin changes ♦ Changes in bowel or bladder habits ♦ Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing ♦ Unusual bleeding or discharge.

As with routine blood tests, however, other conditions besides cancer can cause elevated levels of tumor markers. 3 A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the head showing brain cancer. ) In addition to imaging techniques and tumor marker tests, a doctor can look directly for cancer in certain organs by using various kinds of endoscopes. An endoscope is a narrow, flexible fiber-optic tube that DIAGNOSING CANCER transmits an image through the tube and then through a lens to the doctor, similar to a microscope.

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