The Genomics Age of Cancer Screening: Earlier Detection

The Genomics Age of Cancer Screening: Earlier Detection

Genomics have been one of the most significant developments in the history of medical science. Genomics is an interdisciplinary of biology devoted to the study of the hereditary makeup, function, development, mapping, and sequencing of genes. In essence, a genome is the complete set of genetic instructions for an organism. This code is expressed by proteins and other molecules within an organism and is considered to be the blueprint of that organism. In recent years, genomics has emerged as a field of advanced biology. 

It has transformed many areas of research and raised hopes for new approaches to health care. For generations, geneticists have been mapping the human genome and investigating the causes of disease. The science of genomics has literally opened a new door for the medical world. As sequencing has expanded beyond the lab, more methods of pre-diagnosis and early detection are being developed. Scientists have identified a number of scenarios through which the results of these studies could be applied. Genomics has provided important answers to questions such as: What might cause cancer? How do cancers develop? What are the causes of age-related diseases? And can we prevent and treat cancer with the use of advanced genetic technologies? Cancer, and the devastation it causes, is a clear focus of genomics.  As of now, researchers are not likely to find the cure for cancer in a single theory. In fact, one of the most efficient ways to combat cancer may not be a “cure” at all, as “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Why do we need earlier detection?

Cancer is easier to treat when caught early. As non-benign tumors progress, the number of treatment options decline. Doctors lose the ability to remove tumors completely and chemotherapies become increasingly ineffective. Unfortunately for many patients, symptoms are not noticed until the cancer has spread. In many cancers, such as lung, pancreatic, and ovarian, most tumors are metastatic by the time they are diagnosed. Because of this, the rationale for screening is that cancers follow a predictable path, from local and treatable, to metastatic, to lethal. Conceptually, detecting the cancer earlier will maximize the patients access to available therapies and interventions before the cancer becomes intractable. The design of a robust tool to detect cancer at an early stage in large swaths of the global population will be critical to reducing cancer mortality rates.

Earlier detection can lead to reduced mortality rates. 

Cancer is a progressive disease. Tumors progress at differing rates. Adjusted for the incidence of different cancers, the weighted-average-five-year mortality rate for localized cancers is on 11% while that for non-local or metastatic cancers is 76%. In other words, 89% of patients with localized cancers survive five years after diagnosis, well above the 24% percent with metastatic cancers.

What does this mean for you? Early detection makes a difference. Identify your cancer risks through a simple mouth swab. Genetic testing can further the information on the genes you or a loved one carry. Research shows that genetic testing can help your provider recommend more precise treatment options. Genetic testing can also help you determine whether you (or your loved one) are at an increased risk for cancer and how to improve the prognosis.

Vita Medical Solutions is proud to partner with laboratories to facilitate access to advanced hereditary cancer (CGx) genetic testing.

Learn more about your personal and family genetic makeup and personalized medicine options through our genetic test offerings. Read more specifically about CGx testing here:

With qualifying insurance, this test can cost you nothing out of pocket. Click below to schedule a call with one of Vita Medical’s Patient Services Consultants to find out your eligibility.

Call us at 1.800.590.9292 (toll-free) or email at [email protected].

Test. Know. Educate. Advocate. 

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