Diagnosis

60% of people have symptoms before receiving a cancer diagnosis. you’re likely to start by seeing your doctor about symptoms before any cancer is found. Ask to be referred to a specialist in neurology or oncology.

To diagnose PNS your doctor will do a physical exam and blood test.

During the appointment you will have a neurological exam, which consists of questions and simple tests. The areas tested:

  • Reflexes
  • Strength
  • Touch
  • Vision
  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Memory

Your doctor will refer you to a specialist known as a Neurologist.

A Neurologist may also request a neurological exam, blood tests, spinal tap or scans.

  • Blood tests. You will have blood taken to test for antibodies.
  • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap). Your doctor will insert a needle into your lower spine to remove spinal fluid.

Regular scans every 3 – 6 months are used to find any cancer. One or more of the following tests may be used:

  • CT scan is a specialized X-ray that produces thin, cross-sectional images of tissue.
  • MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create 3-D images of tissue.
  • PET scan uses radioactive compounds injected to produce 3-D images of the body.
  • PET plus CT, a combination of PET and CT, may increase the detection rate of small cancers.

If cancer isn’t found it may be that the antibodies make the tumor too small to find.

  • Remember to write down any symptoms you have. Including any symptoms that seem out of the ordinary.
  • Write down any questions you may have.
  • Make a list of medications. Including any vitamins or supplements that you’re taking. You need to know any contradictions of medication.
  • Consider taking someone along. Sometimes you’re overwhelmed and it’s hard to remember all of the information. Someone to remember something that you missed or forgot.
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