What is a biopsy and how long do I have to wait for results?
With cancer being one of the biggest killers of Australians, finding an unusual lump on our bodies is a frightening experience. Our doctors will often recommend we undergo a biopsy to confirm or deny the presence of cancer, and while the procedure, especially if it requires hospitalisation, is confronting, waiting for the results can be terrifying. This is our guide to what you can expect during and after a biopsy.
Are X-rays dangerous?
X-rays are a useful tool for diagnosing certain health conditions and diseases. Your doctor may refer you for an x-ray to check for broken bones, pneumonia or cancer, or your dentist will use x-rays to look inside your teeth for potential problems such as dental cavities. A radiologist or pathologist studies the results of x-rays, and a letter will be sent back to your doctor. You will often be asked to take the x-ray films with you.
What are some of the common services offered by medical centres?
A medical centre is an establishment housing a group of doctors offering healthcare services from a single premises. Medical centres differ in size and type. Some may offer doctors in general practice or another area such as plastic surgery, oncology, radiology, dermatology, gastroenterology etc., or a combination of both general practitioners and specialists. Public hospitals will often have a medical centre close nearby, where doctors from these public hospitals can also see patients privately. These doctors are known as specialists, for example cardiologists and surgeons.
What does a pathology centre do?
Pathology is the study of the causes and effects of disease by looking at cells, fluids and tissues from your body. It is a critical part of medicine, and all medical students will study pathology before becoming a doctor. A pathology centre is where your general practitioner (GP) or specialist doctor can send samples or specimens from your body for analysis to help in the accurate diagnosis of your condition or disease. To summarise, there are five main sample and specimens which your GP may take or send in to a pathology centre.
What to expect when getting a CT scan
Most of us are familiar with x-rays, having seen them in use at dentist surgeries, for broken limbs or other medical conditions. A CT scan, however, can provide much more information than an x-ray.
What to expect when getting an MRI scan
A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner is a device linked to a computer which generates a 3-D image of an area of your body. Unlike X-rays and CT scans, there is no ionizing radiation with an MRI, and therefore it is supposedly without risk. MRIs also provide more accurate pictures of the differing soft tissues within your body. This is particularly useful if your doctor wants to look at the brain, the heart, muscles and cancers, but it can be used for any part of your body.
Does getting a blood test mean it’s serious?
If your doctor takes a sample of your blood, does it mean you have a serious illness? Of course not! Having a blood test in itself does not mean that you have a serious ailment. Blood tests and blood analysis provides in-depth information about your health and are used to help the doctor identify the cause of your symptoms and illness. It is always wise to act early with medical conditions rather than to wait until they become serious, so blood test may be regularly administered by your physician.