The world of phlebotomy is improving all the time. Researchers are currently working on a test that would provide advanced treatment to lung cancer patients more quickly. The exam is called liquid biopsy, and it is earning recognition from physicians nationwide.
What Is Currently in the Industry
Currently, the only way to determine methods of treatment for lung cancer patients is through conventional lung tissue biopsies. While accurate, these exams are viewed as invasive and painful by the recipient. Conventional lung tissue biopsies also come with certain risks that could make the procedure deadly.
What Makes Liquid Biopsy Better
Liquid biopsy comes with the double benefit of minimal pain and proficiency. Doctors can determine the best path of treatment by taking a blood sample, which means less discomfort for lung cancer patients.
In many ways, blood tests are considered as non-invasive ways to examine the lungs and, in a sense, determine its health. Obtaining results within a matter of days, instead of weeks, can accelerate the ability of doctors to administer effective treatment that is targeted. This can, essentially, revolutionize the healthcare industry and save lives.
Why Acceleration Is Important
Time is of the essence in all cases of cancer. The abnormal cells tend to snuff out good cells, which causes the immune system to be weak and susceptible to other viruses (not limited to influenza) that can prove deadly. It is for this reason that treatment needs to be determined and followed through immediately after a diagnosis of lung cancer is given.
Still in the Works
Although liquid biopsies are currently viewed as the best way to tailor a plan for treatment of lung cancer, there are still a number of wrinkles that need to be ironed out before the method of treatment can be shared with other doctors throughout the country.
Perhaps one of the biggest hiccups is the test’s inability to pick up on cancer mutations every time it is administered. While liquid biopsies provide clear results for doctors, its results sometimes come back negative. In these instances, patients must undergo conventional lung tissue biopsies. Such additional tests take away from time that a physician would use to create a treatment plan.
Liquid Biopsies Are the Future
When will liquid biopsies be an intricate part of blood work in Las Vegas? In coming years, optimists say. Although the current process has a number of problems that prevent it from going nationwide, improvements to the test will allow it to be the premiere examination by which doctors determine the best past of treatment for lung cancer. As of now, researchers use the test in collaboration with conventional lung tissue biopsies when figuring out a plan of action against cancer. It is speculated that blood testing as a sole source for diagnosing lung cancer is years away. At that time, it will be commonplace for cancer treatment to begin with blood work in Las Vegas.
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