Many routine laboratory tests necessary for your cancer care are performed in Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers‘ (NGOC) laboratory or sent to a reference lab for analysis by pathologists. These lab tests are billed as part of your office visit. Occasionally, special blood tests may be requested. We will inform you of any of these special tests requiring an outside reference lab since you will receive a bill from the lab.
Pathologists are specially trained physicians who study and determine the absence or presence of disease. Through modern technology, skill and experience, they evaluate how cancer cells are formed, where they originated, their structure, and how they interact with other cells.
NGOC operates with extreme caution and won’t make a diagnosis without 100 percent certainty. A cancer diagnosis is given after a tissue sample, or biopsy, confirms the presence of cancer. It’s not based on an imaging scan or blood work alone. Those tools can’t prove cancer. In most all cases, with a few rare exceptions such as cancer in the brain stem or liver cancer, the presence of cancer is determined by a biopsy.
After a cancer diagnosis, NCOG cancer doctors take the lead to determine the course of treatment best suited for the patient and the type of cancer they’re fighting. The course of treatment may vary and include one or more modalities such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, hormonal, targeted or biological therapy. We work with our patients to determine the best treatment course with several factors and patient goals in mind. Factors include the patient’s overall condition, the specific characteristics of the cancer they’re fighting and if the cancer has spread or metastasized.