Soon, a simple blood test to detect cancer
“BOSTON: A blood test so sensitive it can spot a single cancer cell lurking among a billion healthy ones is moving a step closer to being available at your doctor’s office, with potentially revolutionary medical implications.
This is like a liquid biopsy” that avoids painful tissue sampling and may give a better way to monitor patients than periodic imaging scans, said Daniel Haber chief of Massachusetts General Hospital’s cancer center and one of the test’s inventors. “
The Times of India carried this piece of news on the first page today and I was elated on reading it! Though, my elation turned to disappointment by the time I finished reading this article. The reason for my dismay is that I have to undergo a needle biopsy of my thyroid gland. Although, the procedure itself is not very painful, the days preceding it stop just short of a complete nightmare. My sister-in-law and her husband, who are both doctors, making light of the situation, explained to me that it really is more painful giving a blood sample than getting the FNAC done. With due respect to their professional opinion, I beg to differ. It is the location of the thyroid gland that causes concern in the patient’s mind: You have to lie down with a pillow under your neck, exposing your neck, and a needle is inserted into the thyroid gland wherefrom the tissue sample is taken for the purpose of testing.
I have been suffering from hypothyroidism and thyroditis for the past 7 years and have undergone this procedure at least 7 times already, but each time, it’s equally terrifying. I think what the patient really fears is not the needle by itself, but also the possibility of the sample testing positive for malignancy. The C word is the most dreaded word in our minds nowadays, considering we hear about so many people succumbing to this disease. I have lost two great colleagues and friends to Cancer recently and they both were my age. May their souls rest in peace and their families find the strength to carry on…
It seems that I will have to undergo yet another old fashioned needle biopsy because the newspaper stated that, “Boston scientists who invented the test and health care giant ‘Johnson & Johnson’ are joining forces to bring it to market. Four big Cancer centres also will start studies using the experimental test this year.” But I have to get it done this month, I am sure it is merely a procedural formality, and like we all know, early detection can save lives.
I was seriously considering drawing up my will but then I realized that I don’t have any material goods to give away, my legacy is my thoughts, feelings and emotions , which are scattered all over the cyber world. When I am gone, I will live in these posts and articles. Read me when you think of me and say a little prayer for me…….God bless…..
P.s. I am not going anywhere for a long long time……. 🙂
Lucky aka Sulekha