Perhaps one of the most agonizing aspects of dealing with cancer is the endless testing that goes along with managing the disease.
The sheer number of \biopsies, the radiation, the chemo, and the removal surgeries.
The horror show of operations, poking, and prodding can be as harmful as the disease itself.
Fortunately, a thyroid cancer breakthrough may help sufferers live better, more comfortable lives.
In an effort to better diagnose and monitor thyroid cancer, researchers developed a new test that won’t just better diagnose the disease, but may also help to eliminate unnecessary surgeries as well.
This test helps to identify the “molecular fingerprint” of the disease, which means that scientists will have an increased capability of keeping the disease under control.
In a pilot test of the test, researchers discovered that by looking for the molecular fingerprint of thyroid cancer, they could identify the disease 66% more accurately as well as far quicker than the standard test physicians rely on to identify this kind of cancer.
While researchers will be quick to admit they need a larger data pool before they get permission to roll this out on a larger scale, these early observations lend hope to physicians who want to help their patients get better care and live more comfortable lives.
If more extensive studies find that the initial research was accurate, it wouldn’t just help reduce the management of the disease.
It could also save patients as well as practitioners (as well as insurance companies) thousands upon thousands as well as preventing hasty removal of thyroid glands that didn’t need to be excised.
Livia S. Eberlin, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry and diagnostic medicine at The University of Texas at Austin who was a co-senior study author said:
“If we could prevent people from having surgery they don’t need and enable them to have a more precise diagnosis,” “we can improve treatment for patients and lower costs for the healthcare system.”
And her authoring partner, James W. Suliburk, associate professor and chief of endocrine surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, TX, iterated the same.
“With this next-generation test,” says co-senior study author Dr., “we can provide thyroid cancer diagnoses faster and with more precision than current techniques — this will be the new state-of-the-art.”
“We are able to do this analysis directly on the FNA sample and much more rapidly than the current process, which could take between 3 and 30 days.”
Thyroid cancer is particularly devastating as this cancer affects the body’s endocrine system, which controls all hormones.
When the thyroid is corrupted by cancerous cell activity, it may create a severe issue where other hormone levels are altered.
The disturbance in other hormone levels may then create a negative cascading effect on dozens of different processes and organs, which can ultimately lead to multiple organ failures and death.
For researchers to have discovered a test that could help knock thyroid cancer out faster means that many lives will be saved, and needless suffering would be avoided.