Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Blood test for cancer?

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So I am pleasantly surprised to learn about this new blood test that can detect cancer without a biopsy. They call it a liquid biopsy. Basically it means that they hope that cancer can be detected before its noticeable. This is not the same as the blood biopsy I blogged about the other day for breast cancer. This is something else that is new.

It has been tested on patients with lymphoma and one woman with lung cancer.

"The hope is that a blood draw — far less onerous than a traditional biopsy or a CT scan — will enable oncologists to quickly figure out whether a treatment is working and, if it is, to continue monitoring in case the cancer develops resistance. Failing treatments could be ended quickly, sparing patients side effects and allowing doctors to try alternatives."

This means that patients wont have to wait for months to see if their cancer treatment is working. They can be monitored through blood tests. And recurrences of lymphoma were detected three months before they were noticeable.

Of course more research is needed but things look good. Personally, while I am not a fan of too much blood work, I much prefer them to other tests or biopsies.

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