A cancer diagnosis can be devastating, but if detected early enough it can be treatable. One of the treatment techniques that may be recommended is surgery to remove the cells that have been identified as cancerous. This can often be successful if the cancer is restricted to one area of the body.
The period following surgical cancer removal can be stressful and uncertain too. If any cancer cells have been left behind, there is a very real risk that the patient’s cancer could return. While a surgeon will do everything possible to ensure all cancerous cells are removed or eliminated, guaranteeing that none have been missed is considered virtually impossible – at least until there is enough cancer to be detected on a routine post-surgery scan. Obviously, at the point that this is possible, the cancer will have had the opportunity to spread and take hold again. Many doctors try to mitigate the risk of recurrence by recommending additional therapies after surgery, such as chemotherapy or radiation, which can be used to eradicate any remaining cancer cells after surgery.
What if there was a way to tell if surgery had been completely successful and to identify that there is no need for further treatments, many of which can have severe side effects and consequences? A cancer detection blood test, like our own PanTum Detect blood test, could be the answer.
Side effects from cancer treatments
While cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy are often successful, they aren’t without risk and a whole range of side effects. Cancer patients can become extremely unwell during the course of their treatment, which drastically affects their quality of life. Some of the side effects associated with cancer treatments include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Appetite loss
- Constipation or diarrhoea
- Hair loss
- Excessive fatigue
- Edema (swelling)
- Compromised immune function, making them very susceptible to other illnesses
- Urinary/bladder issues
- Nerve problems
- Chronic pain
The exact effects vary between individuals, but all can be debilitating. Some cancer treatments can have permanent effects on patient fertility, making it difficult or impossible for them to conceive in the future.
Being able to tell categorically whether or not further treatment is needed following surgery makes it possible to tailor cancer treatments to the specific needs of individuals, and could help them to avoid unnecessary therapies and save the NHS money.
PanTum Detect could eliminate the need for unnecessary cancer treatments
PanTum Detect is the first universal cancer detection blood test that can identify cancer at the earliest stages – before it appears on x-ray, CT or MRI scans. It is highly accurate, detecting cancerous cells with a sensitivity of 97.5% and can rule out healthy individuals with 99.05% specificity. This makes it the first test of its kind to achieve this high level of accuracy for multiple cancer types.
In addition to being a successful tool for early diagnosis, PanTum Detect could be extremely valuable post-surgery. By performing this simple blood draw in the period following surgery to remove cancer, it’s possible to determine which patients may have cancer cells remaining and would benefit from further treatment such as chemotherapy. Just as importantly, PanTum Detect can also identify which patients are showing no signs of remaining cancerous cells. This could prevent them from undergoing unnecessary, unpleasant and costly treatment.
Furthermore, PanTum Detect could be used to detect signs of cancer returning at any point following a patient’s initial cancer treatments much faster than using conventional scans and other screening processes. This enables faster treatment, giving patients a better chance of surviving their disease.
Our cancer detection technology is available for use in the UK immediately. You can find out more about PanTum Detect on our website and download our whitepaper here. If you are interested in partnering with us on clinical trials, please get in touch using our contact form.