Williams Cancer Institute

Early Detection of Cancer and Its Challenges.

Treating early stage cancer is much easier and it has less invasive treatment choices than treating advanced stage cancer which will represent a higher challenge to both the patient and the physician. This is why we need to work on developing new technologies and strategies to early detection and treatment of cancer. This also may include the possibility of overdiagnosis and overtreatment, which could cause more harm to patients who had not developed malignant tumors or lesions and might see only traditional therapies (such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy alone) as their only choice.

However, detection and treatment of early stage cancer can get a higher rate of success and survival cases and yet around 50% of cancers are only detected at an advanced stage. The reason for this is that to be able to detect cancer early we need to consider some challenges we face. Understanding cancer itself and its behavior it’s one of the first things to achieve this goal. Determining the risk of developing cancer is also crucial, examining germline genomic susceptibility, family history, exposures, demographic, and behavioral data will give us an idea of what kind of patients should be getting cancer tests more often and as more therapies are coming out, considering which one or which combination might work best depending on the patients cancer.

Another difficulty in finding accurate signals of early cancer is finding and validating biomarkers, including circulating tumor DNA, circulating tumor cells, proteins, exosomes, and cancer metabolites. The combination and resolution of these factors with technological advancements and appropriate evaluation will be crucial to realizing the potential for early detection to inform treatment decisions and improve survival cases, while minimizing the risk of over treatment. To conclude, our efforts and resources must be directed towards improving our knowledge and technology to a more efficient evaluation and implementation of newer treatment and technologies to early detection of cancer to get much better expected results of success and survival rate.

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