Cancer

Hematology and Oncology Specialists located in East Lansing and Charlotte, MI

Cancer services offered in East Lansing and Charlotte, MI

Forty percent of men and women will have cancer during their lifetime, but survival rates are increasing thanks to better screening and innovative treatments. At Red Cedar Oncology, Carol Rapson, MD, and Anthony Brandau, DO, specialize in medical oncology, offering today's most advanced cancer treatments and the ongoing care you need to stay healthy and well. They provide community-based care, so you receive personalized cancer treatment outside the hospital. If you have questions about cancer treatment or need to schedule an appointment, call the office in East Lansing or Charlotte, Michigan, or book online today.

Cancer Q & A

What is cancer?

Cancer is a disease that occurs due to abnormal cell growth. The problem begins when cellular DNA mutates. 

You may inherit a genetic mutation, or your DNA may change during your lifetime. For example, DNA mutates from exposure to harmful substances like air pollution, tobacco smoke, ultraviolet rays, and other environmental chemicals.

When DNA mutates, it changes the cell's lifespan. Healthy cells typically grow, mature, die, and get replaced. The DNA mutations cause cells to grow uncontrollably and multiply without dying. This excessive growth leads to tumors.

What are the most common cancers?

Cancer can develop in any cell in your body. However, the most common types include:

  • Breast cancer
  • Lung and bronchus cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Colon and rectum cancer
  • Melanoma (skin cancer)
  • Bladder cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Kidney cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Leukemia

Prostate cancer is most common in men, and breast cancer tops the list for women. The next most common types in both genders are lung and colorectal cancers.

What symptoms does cancer cause?

Except for changes in moles and skin lesions or lumps you can see or feel, most cancers don't present obvious symptoms until they reach an advanced stage.

When symptoms begin, they’re usually generic. You may experience:

  • Fatigue and chronic tiredness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unexplained muscle pain
  • Persistent pain
  • Fever that occurs at night
  • Sore that doesn't go away
  • Cough
  • Indigestion
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness

None of these symptoms are exclusive to cancer; they could be caused by many possible health problems. That’s why it’s important to have a physical exam if you have nagging symptoms that don't improve or worsen.

How is cancer diagnosed?

Physical exams, lab tests, cancer screenings, and diagnostic imaging may all reveal signs of cancer. But the only way to accurately diagnose cancer is with a tissue biopsy. After your provider removes the tissues, a lab pathologist views them under a microscope and determines if they're cancerous.

The next step is staging the cancer to identify the size of the tumor and whether it has spread. In some cases, your provider performs genetic testing to further define the cancer type and characteristics.

How is cancer treated?

Surgical oncologists take care of your initial treatment, removing as much of the tumor as possible. Radiation oncologists perform radiation therapy using high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells.

As medical oncologists, the Red Cedar Oncology team treats every type of cancer with:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted drug therapy
  • Hormone therapy

If you need experienced care for cancer, call Red Cedar Oncology or book an appointment online today.