The evolution of early detection
I watched this pretty cool TED talk this morning. Boy wouldn’t it be nice if detecting breast cancer was as easy as a blood test that could be done as part of your annual physical. I do wonder if it would still detect it sooner than self-exams in young women – in that, I had a physical in January with no signs of disease, but had disease in June. So, would a test like the one in the video have caught the cancer a little sooner or would it just have confirmed that I had no disease in January, but I had disease in June?
I wonder how it might be used in the future for those of us with breast cancer, to confirm NED (no evidence of disease) after treatment? Would that simple test mean that more people choose lumpectomies? Currently, if you have lumpectomy, you are considered high risk for re-occurrence, which means that you subjected to more frequent screening (more frequent mammograms and breast MRIs). If future screening was a simple blood test, would that change the decision as to which surgery to have?
I like that the company creating it is allowing the platform to be open source, so that others can work with it and improve upon it. It also helps to make sure that the platform is affordable.
I think for me, the biggest thing such a test would provide is peace of mind. The ability to have a blood test ever 3-month for the first five years after treatment (when re-occurrence is at its highest) would go a long way to providing peace of mind.