Lung cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer with hundreds of thousands of deaths per year and is responsible for nearly 30% of cancer deaths in both men and women each year. Even with early diagnosis, lung cancer is an insidious disease that can be enormously aggressive. Research dollars continue to be spent on not only finding a cure for lung cancer but finding better diagnostic tools for helping to identify the disease as early as possible.
New research has uncovered a potential new and promising option for diagnosing lung cancer. Reported in the Clinical Cancer Research journal, this new diagnostic tool tests respiratory mucus for the chemical markers that can signify the existence of lung cancer or any other condition.
Hailed as an effective, noninvasive method for identifying the presence of malignancy, the sputum test can help avoid more invasive and expensive testing procedures that can yield results that may be less than accurate. Thus far, the sputum test has been shown to be 83% accurate in identifying the presence of lung cancer.
How does it actually work?
The sputum test looks for three genetic biomarkers that can signal the presence of lung cancer. This allows for oncologists to make the call regarding whether further testing should be initiated.
The sputum test is considered to be among one of the most exciting developments in lung cancer diagnosis and offers a glimmer of diagnostic hope against a disease that can be so catastrophic. Sputum test has been successful in detecting certain noncancerous and cancerous conditions. You can talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding tests, its procedure, its results or risks involved.
The effectiveness, however, is not where experts would like it to be and research continues to be done to help raise the accuracy of the test. This level of accuracy, believes researchers, will help avoid unnecessary procedures and allow for the earliest diagnosis possible as well as the opportunity to begin treatment as quickly as possible in the fight against lung cancer. Though the sputum test has a limited role in lung cancer screening tests, it has been, however, has higher chances of detecting tumor at early ages. Treatment of lung cancer can include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or with introduction of drugs that can help in eradicating cancerous cell from the body. Doctor, in some case, might also suggest combination of multiple treatment procedure.