What is a diagnosis?

Philip Lisagor, MD
Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular)
A diagnosis is a name given to your condition, for example:
  • Lung cancer
  • Cancer of the breast, colon, rectum or pancreas
  • Heart failure
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Stroke
  • Chronic liver, lung or kidney diseases
  • Other chronic disabilities or terminal diseases
The diagnosis may include a severity code. For cancer this includes the "stage."
  • Stage 1 (limited)
  • Stage 2 & 3 (spread to the lymph nodes)
  • Stage 4 (spread throughout the body)
For heart failure, this may include the New York Heart Association classification:
  • Stage 1 -- mild
  • Stage 2 & 3 -- moderate
  • Stage 4 -- severe

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.