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How reliable is an elevated CA 19-9 as a cancer marker?

Dear Planner, I am sure you have done some research by now and know that CA19-9 is possibly elevated in conditions related to the stomach, liver, intestines (small and large) and commonly, the pancreas and biliary system (gallbladder and it's related structures). The common sc...
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Could prolonged hoarseness be a sign of throat cancer?

Dear Lee Yien, I think that your dad should most definitely have his hoarse voice checked out to make sure it isn’t due to a more worrying cause like cancer. I always advise anyone who has had a persistent hoarse voice for longer than 2 weeks to undergo a thorough checku...
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How can one differentiate acne from basal cell carcinoma? (photos)

Hi, There are several useful resources such as this, where you can read more about Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) . BCC is more likely to occur if you are Caucasian. Your age also places you in the low risk group. The photos are not enough to make a clear diagnosis. We also n...
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What could be the cause for a painless bump in the back of my throat? (photo)

Dear jensps4 n8, Thank you for your question. The throat (oropharnyx) has a pink lining (mucosa) and numerous minor salivary glands underneath it. Most commonly the lump at the back of the throat is a benign cyst (collection of mucous or saliva). This usually occurs due to ...
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How does Azacitidine help for Acute Myeloid Leukemia?

Hi Rachael, You need to ask these questions to your haematologist or oncologist, as they are beyond the scope of this QnA. AML is complicated in general, and the answer is never straight forward. For example, the correct treatment in your case may also depend on genetic and...
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Could stomach pain and difficulty passing motion be a sign of cancer?

Dear JY, Cancer of the digestive tract is not very common in your age group (36 years). However, there can at times be exceptions, especially if you have a family history of cancer. Perhaps you may need to consult a doctor with the view to a gastroscopy and colonoscopy if...
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Are there any alternatives to chemotherapy for breast cancer after a mastectomy?

Hi Beauty, The treatment of cancer has an established algorithm based upon many decades of established research and treatment data. It is pretty much based upon: the stage of your cancer the appearance of your removed breast cancer samples under the microscope and als...
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Does protopic cream cause cancer, and should I be concerned?

Dear Harini, Protopic 0.1% ointment is a non steroid ointment that has anti-inflammatory effects of steroids. The advantage is that it does not cause skin thinning and atrophy which is associated with steroid use. The concern of cancer and protopic ointment arises from the 'bl...
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Which should I do next for a basal cell carcinoma in Singapore?

Dear Gunawan, A non-healing ulcer may be due to an underlying skin cancer like basal cell carcinoma. The 1st thing to do is to see your dermatologist to get it checked out. A skin biopsy can be done to confirm the if this is indeed due to a pigmented basal cell carcinoma. O...
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What are the chemotherapy regimens for relapsed leukemia?

Hi Joel, there are different types of leukemias, and going into the treatment regime for each one is beyond the scope of this QnA. For example, there are 4 main types of leukemia alone: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) Acute lymphocytic leuk...
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How likely am I to get breast cancer if my mother has it?

This depends on a number of factors. Firstly, is your mother is the only relation with breast cancer or are there more relatives with breast or ovarian cancers? It also depends on the age that your mother got cancer. If your mother got cancer when she was less than 45 years old a...
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Is nail clubbing a sign of cancer, and what should I do next?

Dear Hans, There are many causes of clubbing of the fingers. Clubbing can be due to lung diseases, heart problems, liver diseases, thyroid dieases and malignancy. In some people, the cause is idiopathic ie. there is no undelying cause. Clubbing is often caused by chronic hypox...
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What should I do about an abnormal PSA result at a health screening?

There can be other causes for raised PSA other than cancer, like prostate inflammation, infection, benign enlargement or perineal region trauma. The first step is to rule out all these reasons that may be causing the elevated PSA. Should there be a need for more advanced measu...
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Which specialist should I consult for a high platelet count?

Dear Cyanyi, A high platelet count or thrombocytosis doesn't necessarily means you need to see a specialist. We need to see how high it is, whether there are other parameters which are also abnormal. Need to find out if you have any symptoms which may point to the possible cause....
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