A Blood Test for Lung Cancer
We’ve talked about the power of CT for lung cancer diagnosis (here and here) and even covered the topic of smoking-related breast cancer risk over on our mammography blog (here). Today we’d like to talk about more good news in the world of lung health: a potential alternative to current management of lung nodules found on a CT scan. Lung cancer is currently the leading cause of cancer death in the US – for men and women.
While the research (and technology) is still in the early phases, it looks like a promising future in the search (and hopefully destroy) mission for early detection of lung cancer. In a study published on October 16th in the journal Science Translational Medicine, a new blood test was unveiled that can aid in finding lung cancer in a minimally invasive manner. The article is a heady read, so we’re going to break it down for you:
If a patient has a lung nodule, the current next step is often a biopsy, possibly with surgery or imaging guided. This new blood test screens for a select set of proteins that can help determine if the nodules are benign or cancerous. So, a normal blood test could potentially save a person from undergoing a biopsy or alternatively might lead doctors to surgery at an early treatable stage.
Working in a scientific field, we know that further studies must confirm the initial positive results before anyone can shout this as a revolution. But we are thrilled and optimistic that there’s progress being made in early detection of lung cancer – because early detection saves lives.
Additional reading here.
Image credit: Biopsie Lunge Computertomographie BC by Hellerhoff via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Originally published 10/29/13 on diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com.