I recently learned about liquid biopsy as targeted diagnosis for cancer detection. I was especially moved to learn about the procedure for breast cancer diagnosis and the advancements in non-invasive procedures available to patients. A few recent newsletters reported;
“The potential use of liquid biopsies to help guide therapies for advanced cancers is a promising avenue of research. At this point, though, it is not a substitute for screening for breast cancer to identify patients at the earliest stages of the disease when it is most likely to be curable,” says Roshni Rao, MD, FACS, the new Chief of Breast Surgery at NYP/Columbia 03/23/2018.
“The concept of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating tumor (ct)DNA as a tool in surveillance and prognostication in early stage breast cancer and as a possible alternative to tissue biopsies to guide therapy options in advanced breast cancer. CtDNA has potential advantages compared with tissue biopsies in terms of ease of sampling, the potential to capture more of the intratumoral heterogeneity, and the ability to monitor mutational changes in the tumor in a temporal fashion by serial sampling; ctDNA can also be used to assess tumor burder, for disease monitoring, and therapy response as well as molecular profiling to determine therapy targets,” says Rosana Gnanajothy, MD, Attending Physician of Hematology-Medical Oncology at NYP/Columbia 02/06/2018.
“Such liquid biopsies may provide an alternative when traditional tumor biopsies are unavailable and may even provide additional clinically useful information not present in solid tumor biopsies” states Philip Mack, PhD, Director of Molecular Pharmacology at the UC Davis Cancer Center, who presented these findings at the Annual American Society of Clinical Oncology Meeting in Chicago, IL 06/2016.
“Traditionally, tumor biopsy has been the only way to obtain a sample of cancer tissue. This allows physicians to learn what specific cancer mutations are present in a tumor, which guides cancer treatment. However, patients are not always in good enough health to undergo the surgical procedure, especially if multiple biopsies are needed. Moreover, certain genetic mutations relevant to treatment may only be found in a part of the tumor, which might not be found in the sample.
A liquid biopsy presents a non-invasive, easily repeatable way to obtain this needed genetic material. Tumors shed small pieces of DNA into the bloodstream, where it is known as circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). This ctDNA can be collected and analyzed to help shape treatment decisions. Until now, such biopsies had only been studied in moderately-sized studies.”
As a ten-year breast cancer Survivor I experienced so many different forms of biopsy that were painful, scary and horrific to experience. I started with localization needle biopsy aspiration over several years to assess breast calcification (cysts) until ultimately my bi-lateral cancer was diagnosed later thru digital MRI. What followed was a series of biopsies before multiple surgeries: ultra-sound guided needle-biopsy, core needle biopsy, stereotactic mammatone biopsy, fine needle-biopsy aspiration, sentinel lymph node biopsy, nitrc-oxide breast MRI, etc. I can’t even begin to explain the high-anxiety I experienced throughout the number of these procedures endured.
Today, the outcome is that I am cancer-free. I became knowledgeable to share my journey having undergone so many breast procedures and surgeries, and then documented them in my pink Survivor story: “My Pain Woke Me Up: BLISS! With ongoing breast cancer research and education, I continue to write about the benefits for Survivors on my monthly blog. I believe that liquid biopsy is one of those advancements in breast health and wellness being offered to patients as an ideaI alternative for cancer diagnosis and detection.
As a Writer and Columnist following Advancements in Breast Health and Wellness, please follow me and this research topic for additional solutions in breast cancer. A liquid biopsy diagnosis could be the right procedure for you and it may provide that ease-of-mind throughout your intimate experience.
I will be reporting from Columbia University Breast Management Conference with Top Physicians and Surgeons at the 5th Annual Conference on May 15th in New York. Until then, all the breast. Jean
For more information about Jean Criss, CRISSCROSS Intimates, and press, click here. For speaking engagements or a trunk show of my Intimate Apparel collection, contact me at email@example.com. Don't let cancer get the BREAST of you!