New Blood Test Could Provide Cancer Diagnosis
When a patient hears they need a biopsy, three things often come to mind: pain, time, and cost. Biopsies can be expensive, as many require invasive procedures to obtain the samples. This in turn can cause pain, discomfort, and even sometimes substantial risk to the patient. To add insult to injury, biopsy results often take several weeks, precious time for a person with a potentially life-threatening disease like cancer.
Researchers at the World Conference on Lung Cancer, held recently in Colorado, have presented a new blood test that could make biopsies a secondary option rather than the standard method of cancer diagnosis. The blood test was first used in diagnosing lung cancer. In the study, 223 patients with known or suspected primary or secondary lung cancer who were to undergo surgery also received blood tests that looked for cancer-specific gene mutations in the blood. In approximately 70 percent of the cases, the blood test accurately predicted whether cancer cells were present.
Doctors are now hopeful that this blood testing method could be applied to cancers with similar behaviors, such as colorectal cancer, and help reduce the need for biopsies in these areas. Lead study presenter Eric Lim is not discounting the merit of biopsies. Rather, he sees the blood test as a way to speed up the time between diagnosis and treatment if the blood test comes back positive.
Cancer is One of the Leading Causes of Disability – Let Us Help You Get the Benefits You Deserve
The American Cancer Society predicts that more than 1.6 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed and nearly 590 thousand cancer-related deaths will occur in 2015. Millions of Americans live with cancer, and while many continue to work, many cannot due to the effects of their treatment and progression of their condition.
Disability Help Group knows that no matter what type of cancer you have, if it impairs your ability to work and earn a substantial income, you have a right to seek Social Security disability benefits. If you’re struggling to file your initial disability claim or you’ve been denied benefits and wish to appeal, contact us online or call us at 1-(800)-800-3332.