Scientists and researchers have made remarkable strides over the last 20 years in the detection of cancer. With today’s technology coupled with brilliant doctors and scientists, cancer is being detected much earlier than in the past, giving people who suffer from the disease a better chance to overcome the illness.
Despite all of the advancements, early detection is still being missed, however, and the process of finding it can be pretty invasive.
Brian Harris was mindful to stay on top of his health and attended regularly-scheduled doctor visits. His doctor initially told him the mild pain the 68-year-old was experiencing in his groin was nothing more than a urinary infection.
After three courses of antibiotics, the pain was still there and growing worse. He was sent for a blood test that showed his levels of PSA (the protein the prostate gland produces) was slightly elevated, a small sign that he could have prostate cancer.
To properly detect prostate cancer, Brian needed to undergo a transrectal biopsy that was guided by ultrasound technology. The procedure was extremely invasive and required a needle being inserted into his prostate through the wall of his rectum in order to remove 12 samples that were examined.
That procedure didn’t find a cancer diagnosis conclusive, so Brian went back under the knife in an even more invasive procedure that required him to be put under general anesthesia so 24 additional pieces of tissue could be removed. It was then that malignant cells were detected. Brian’s experience isn’t unique, sadly, but it may be on its way to being obsolete.
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