Diagnosing Cancer

Diagnosing Cancer

Diagnosing Cancer

At the Kennedy Cancer Center, we use multiple approaches to ensure the first cancer diagnosis is the correct one.

Physical Exam

With a gentle, hands-on approach, our doctors look for any abnormalities which may indicate the presence of cancer. This includes changes in skin color, enlarged organs, and lumps.

Laboratory Tests

Using the latest state-of-art technology and new detection methods, our doctors may be able to identify the presence of cancer with a simple urine sample or blood draw. These laboratory tests may find unusual results, like a drastic increase in white blood cells, which can point to the existence of cancer in the body.

Imaging Tests

These noninvasive cancer diagnosis methods allow our doctors to examine the entire body without pain or discomfort. Using sophisticated medical scanning techniques, like Computerized Tomography (CT) scan, 3D Mammography scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Ultrasounds and X-Rays, we are able to pinpoint the exact location of abnormalities which may be cancerous.

While imaging tests are necessary to identify abnormalities in the body, they alone can't differentiate cancerous cells from noncancerous cells. For the majority of cancers, the only way to make a definitive cancer diagnosis is to use a biopsy to collect cells for closer examination.


Definitive cancer diagnosis comes as a result of finding cancerous cells in a specific sampling of abnormal tissue after being thoroughly examined in the laboratory. There are multiple methods for collecting abnormal cells in a biopsy, and determining the correct method is dependent upon factors like the suspected type of cancer and its location.  

Some of the most common biopsy methods are: Bone Marrow Biopsy, Endoscopic Biopsy, Needle Biopsy, Core Needle Biopsy, Fine Needle Aspiration, Vacuum-Assisted Biopsy, and Image-Guided Biopsy.

Once the biopsy sample is obtained, it is immediately examined by specialized physicians called Pathologists. Using a series of highly technical laboratory tests, the Pathologists locate and identify the presence of cancerous cells. Upon a correct diagnosis, our doctors present, explain and evaluate various treatment options with the patient and their family.

The Fight Starts Here

Schedule a Diagnostic Screening Today


To learn more about Kennedy Cancer Center treatment options, click here.

Key Patient Contacts

Oncology Nurse Navigator
Appointment scheduling and treatment navigation.
Susan Saporito, RN, BSN, OCN 

Abigale Hassel, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C - Social Worker
Patient support and information.

Lung Cancer Screening Program Coordinators
Lisa Mick, RN and Brenda Gorman

Cancer Center Accreditations

Commission on Cancer, ACR, NAPBC, Screening Center of Excellence

Upcoming Classes

Hope & Healing Stitchers - Knitting & Crocheting Club - Tuesdays 09-06-16 thru 12-13-16 - 01/04/2016
Join fellow community knitters and/or crocheters on an ongoing basis. Share and learn new skills, while working on community projects that will benefit Kennedy Cancer Center patients and their families. Please bring your own supplies and materials.



HOPE - Helping Oncology Patients Exercise - Fridays 09-02-16 thru 12-16-16 - 09/02/2016
Open to adult cancer patients of all ages and fitness levels. Research suggests exercise can help cancer patients reduce pain, nausea, anxiety and fatigue, improve ability to perform daily activities and enhance mood.