Accurate Identification Is Crucial To Effective Cancer Treatment
Unless you’ve been living under a rock over the past century, you’ll definitely know what cancer is and the immense burden it poses to the populace at large.
Over the years, doctors have discovered new types of cancer that have never been heard of before. These include 12 different prototypes of breast cancer and various cancer subtypes of the colon, lungs, head and neck.
It’s crucial to carry out the right kind of tests to identify the type of cancer tumour. Emerging cancer research has uncovered a vast number of DNA mutations and various variants, making it important to categorise tumours into different sections.
Five major centres in the US document these different subtypes. The need of the hour is to frame a set of laboratory tests so that these subtypes can be easily identified.
Dr Stanley M Marks, Senior Oncologist at the American Oncology Institute, Lingampally, said, “We find that the consistency in laboratory tests is a major challenge in India. The test results are often not specific or accurate, and this becomes a major problem in deciding the line of treatment.”
In India, cancer cases are usually presented at an advanced stage. In such a scenario, targeted treatment protocols are needed to ensure better outcomes
Dr Marks explained, “Although the patient is treated, there’s no improvement in many cases. This is why we need to accurately identify the type of tumour.”
When it comes to cancer tests, only two to three parameters are gauged in India. It’s important to improve diagnostic capabilities by ensuring that the right tests are carried out. With the right evaluation, tumours are better understood and can be dealt with more effectively.
Until recently, the tripod therapy of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation was the sole treatment course for all kinds of patients. This approach is now being replaced by more specific combination therapies that ensure better outcomes.
Environmental causes for cancer are quickly overtaking genetic causes. Due to this development, experts say that the number of cancer cases will continue to remain high. What’s required is a strong emphasis on prevention as well as better treatment protocols to deal with this emerging scenario.