By Catherine Adell O'Brien, Antonija Kreso, and Catriona H.M. Jamieson
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Extra resources for Cancer Stem Cells and Self-renewal (Article)
This chapter outlines some useful diagnostic tests that will not only help you determine how far advanced the cancer is, but also what treatments would be most beneficial for you personally, and how you can get a decent idea of when the cancer is in remission. You may find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of information that is presented here, and wonder how, what, and when you should do the different tests here described. Rather than decide by yourself what you need, I recommend reviewing and sharing this information with a skilled and experienced integrative doctor and certainly your primary oncologist, who can help you to determine which of the following tests you should do.
The Cancer Profile measures a wide range of markers in the body. One of the most important of these is HCG, which is a hormone that is normally produced during pregnancy, but which can also be a hormone of malignancy. Most cancers produce HCG, so if you have any amount of HCG in your blood, this could indicate a greater risk of cancer. The HCG test is a very simple blood test, and it checks for two subunits of HCG: two in the blood and one in the urine. Two tests are done to positively verify the diagnosis.
How Tumors Are Formed Every cell has the capacity to become a cancer cell under the right conditions. When a normal cell becomes damaged and mutates, it ceases to work as part of the team and community of other cells that it is a part of, and instead starts to work for itself, for its own survival. As part of this process, it grows rapidly and doesn’t respond to the body’s natural cellular control mechanisms. So, tumors start with a normal cell mutating into an “immortal,” uncooperative cancer cell.