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Liquid Biopsy: Possible Game-Changer for Your Cancer Screening Facility

  • Highlights

  • Minimally invasive diagnosis technique

  • Easier and quicker diagnosis

  • Allows for early stage diagnosis

  • Enables patient-centric treatment

This #WorldCancerDay, help beat cancer with liquid biopsy. Recommended as a less invasive method to diagnose cancer, liquid biopsy is a patient-centric treatment for cancer that enables quicker diagnosis. Read on to know more.

Biopsies are scary. Considering that they are used to diagnose a potentially life threatening disease like cancer, this is understandable. However, they are also an invasive procedure, which involves cutting into a person, and that makes them even scarier for patients. Liquid biopsies have the potential to change that.
Liquid biopsies are less invasive, since you only need to take a blood sample for testing. This makes them more appealing to patients and also allows for the cancer screening tests to be conducted more regularly. What’s more, liquid biopsies also enable doctors like yourself to monitor the disease (if diagnosed) easily.

Why liquid biopsies?

Although liquid biopsies are still considered a supporting diagnosis, they have the potential to be much more. They can detect cancer in its early stages, with a 75-90% sensitivity/specificity rate. The tumour DNA, is released into the blood at the early stage itself, and can be detected easily, which allows for extremely early detection. This in turn, means that pre-symptom treatment can be given, and many more lives can be saved. The latter is particularly true since early stage cancer is usually treatable. Additionally, liquid biopsies also don’t produce any harmful side effects in patients.

Moreover, since liquid biopsy tests look for tumour DNA in the blood, it can pinpoint the genetic mutation that codes for specific types of cancer, like blood, colorectal, lung cancer, etc. When the tissue was tested, these mutations were also found in the tissue, with almost 94-100% accuracy. This means that with liquid biopsies, there are fewer possibilities of ‘false positives’.
All of this is made possible by a less invasive - even routine - blood test.
Another major advantage that liquid biopsies have, is quicker diagnosis. Traditional tissue biopsies take a minimum of 12 days for new diagnosis, and 27 days for those who have received treatment. Liquid biopsies, on the other hand, do not take more than 3 days either way.
Additionally, the blood drawn is highly specific to the patient, meaning a more customized treatment method is possible. This also solves the patient-centricity problem seemingly undermined while collecting single tissue samples.

How doctors can take their practice to the next level

Liquid biopsies in India

Liquid biopsies for certain types of cancers are FDA-approved and popular in many places around the world. In India though, the prevalence of the procedure can be improved. While it is understandable that traditional tissue biopsies are still the norm in the country, liquid biopsies are a major breakthrough. Additionally, they are also a good way to test smaller tumours that do not have enough tissue.
The biggest issue of implementing this in a country like India is the cost. The cost of conducting liquid biopsies is high. Moreover, while traditional biopsies cost about Rs.8,000, liquid biopsies cost close to Rs.20,000 for patients. To implement them, you can avail Doctor Loans that come with multiple benefits making them an attractive choice. You can check out your pre-approved offer, and get the loan without waiting for it.

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