Please login to the form below

Why is the UK lagging behind the rest of Europe in cancer survival?

Say Communications, London healthcare PR agency, discusses the latest technologies that will improve cancer survival rates in UK
Having to wait for tests, test results, diagnosis and then treatment can be a gruelling experience with the big C word hovering over your head. NHS guidelines are in place to limit diagnosis time but as the Guardian reports, hospitals often break them due to high patient numbers. Cancer survival rates are thankfully rising but the UK has been reported as falling behind the rest of Europe. Why? The main reason cited is slow diagnosis; with the Telegraph stating one in five cancers in this country are not spotted until the patient ends up in A&E.

The best diagnostics we have now are specialised scanners, such as MRI, which are expensive and only found at large hospitals. This bottlenecks patients, delaying diagnosis, and creating postcode variation.

The potential of a simple blood test to save lives

The dream is to find cancers when they’re at their early and most importantly, curable stage. Labs around the world are competing to find a blood test or ‘liquid biopsy’ which can do this, by screening a sample of the patient’s blood. All the DNA in the blood sample is sequenced to find specific shed DNA fragments which are expelled from cancerous cells. You need DNA sequencing machines to do this, but that technology is advancing at an incredible rate, with price and time reducing hugely ever year. A DNA sequencer no bigger than a mobile phone impressed experts earlier this year.

Some studies are being conducted as a race between liquid biopsy and traditional diagnostic tools, such as ultrasound. Catch the cancer. Ready. Steady. Go. Another study found tumour DNA in blood samples of over 80% of those with advanced cancers and nearly 50% with localised and early stage cancers. Research on prostate, lung and bowel cancer tests are under way at the Royal Marsden and a similar blood test has already been reported as a breakthrough for predicting relapses in breast cancer.

To bring home the importance of this diagnostic technology, the CEO of Illumina (a top DNA sequencing firm) believes this technology will become the “stethoscope for the next 200 years.”  A researcher called Dennis Lo, who is close to perfecting the screen for nasopharyngeal cancer, believes once the test has been developed for common cancers, it will be rolled out to mainstream. Victor Velculescu, another pioneer thinks liquid biopsies will “solve early detection” which is key to improving survival rates here in Britain.

I personally, don’t think this technology can come soon enough, just like cancer patients think, waiting for their diagnosis.

-Written by Becky W.

5th November 2015

Share

Tags

Company Details

Say Communications

02089716400

Contact Website

Address:
Tuition House
27-37 St George's Road, Wimbledon
Wimbledon
London
- None -
SW19 4EU
United Kingdom

Latest content on this profile

How ‘Greenwashing’ accusations could delay the very changes its supporters demand
Are shouts of companies ‘greenwashing’ to provide a façade of environmental and ethical respectability causing more harm than good? Or should we call out practices that we believe are papering over the cracks to provide a green sheen?
Say Communications
The power of influence in transforming women’s health
Over the past four years HRT prescriptions have doubled in the UK, the cause was turbo charged by the action of celebrities and influencers.
Say Communications
The doctor will text you now: Why healthcare providers cannot underestimate the importance of communicating change
Healthcare communication needs to switch from ‘transmit’ to ‘receive’, listening to what patients need and embracing the plethora of communication tools wholeheartedly.
Say Communications
Can tobacco companies really reinvent themselves as healthcare companies?
A surprising move by key player, Phillip Morris, has called attention to the start of a new era for the tobacco industry. But can tobacco companies reinvent themselves as healthcare companies?
Say Communications
Why you should feel optimistic about the future of healthcare
It has been a difficult year to remain hopeful for those working in the healthcare industry, but there are some reasons to remain optimistic.
Say Communications
Stick or twist? The future of HCP engagement
The Covid-19 pandemic forced companies to be more agile and rethink their value offering when engaging with HCPs, but what does the future of HCP engagement look like?
Say Communications