Early cancer screening increases the likelihood of successful treatment – VnExpress

Screening to detect cancer at an early stage creates an active position for patients in the battle with cancer; contribute to increase the effectiveness of treatment, recovery and quality of life.

In the counseling program “Early detection to reverse cancer” on VnExpress (afternoon 21/9), Dr. BS Nguyen Huu Phuc, Deputy Head of Oncology Department, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ho Chi Minh City, said that most cancer patients in Vietnam are diagnosed late. This makes treatment much more difficult than when detected at an early stage. In the preclinical stage – stage 0 and stage 1, the possibility of cure is very high. Many cancers, if detected early, have a 99% survival rate.

According to Dr. Tran Le Son, Institute of Medical Genetics – Gene Solutions, “early” is the stage when cancer cells have not metastasized to other organs. According to statistics, if cancer is detected at an early stage, patients have a 5-year survival rate of 90%. With advances in treatment today, modern cancer screening methods can help people receive health care more quickly and effectively than in the past.

Guests in the talk show on the topic “Early detection to repel cancer”. Image: Thanh Tung

“The silent growth of cancer cells is the cause that makes it difficult for patients to notice changes in the body to conduct examinations and detect disease early,” Dr. Genetic or molecular changes are often silent, associated with precancerous lesions. These changes can last up to about 12 years, before cancer symptoms become more pronounced. At this point, the cancer has metastasized.

The timely detection of cancer depends a lot on the level of concern for each person’s health. According to Dr. Phuc, screening and early detection will bring many benefits to patients and medical staff such as: increasing the ability to cure, significantly saving treatment costs.

Dr. BS Nguyen Huu Phuc (right) and Dr.  Tran Le Son at the consultation session.

Dr. BS Nguyen Huu Phuc (right) and Dr. Tran Le Son at the consultation session. Image: Thanh Tung

In parallel with traditional methods, currently the trend of “tracing” cancer by gene technology is being applied in countries with developed medicine. Dr. Son said that the SPOT-MAS cancer screening method invented and announced by Gene Solutions in April 2022 helps to detect the above 5 common cancers early through a single blood collection. SPOT-MAS is based on a new generation gene sequencing technology that detects 4 unique mutations of tumor DNA at the same time. The technology allows to detect 5 types of cancer of liver, lung, breast, colorectal and stomach; with a specificity of 95.9%, excluding unwanted false-positive results.

A corner of Gene Solutions' lab, serving gene testing for early detection of cancer.  Photo: Gene Solutions

A corner of Gene Solutions’ lab, serving gene testing for early detection of cancer. Image: Gene Solutions

Participating in the online consultation session was also poet-journalist Khanh Chi, who has been battling breast cancer for the past time. She shared that, thanks to her optimistic spirit, will to live and faith in the doctors and nurses treating her, she overcame the disease. “I bought plants and flowers to cover the terrace, keeping an optimistic spirit when I heard that I had cancer,” she said.

During the treatment, Ms. Khanh Chi was recommended by the doctor to eat boiled and steamed food. She was very bored, she was too tired to swallow, but thanks to her son cooking and persistently sitting down to eat with his mother, she overcame this difficult period.

By faith, positive lifestyle and correct implementation of the doctor’s treatment regimen; With the companionship, sharing and encouragement of family and friends, Ms. Khanh Chi recovered. Up to now, after nearly 10 years since the treatment was cured, she lives a healthy, loving life and actively participates in many activities to support and support cancer patients.

“With modern medicine, today people have access to many opportunities to take care of, protect and heal their body. Therefore, early screening and treatment are very meaningful,” said Ms. Chi. recognize.

Factors that increase the risk chance of getting cancer

According to TS.BS Nguyen Huu Phuc, two main groups of factors that increase the incidence of cancer include: external environmental factors and internal factors in the patient’s body.

In terms of environmental factors, adults who are regularly exposed to carcinogens (carcinogens that cause cancer) belong to a group with a high risk of cancer. Specifically, a group of young women who have received radiation therapy are more likely to develop breast cancer after 8-10 years. People living in radioactive areas after 5-10 years are also at risk of thyroid cancer.

External factors related to physical agents such as: radiation from the sun, ionizing radiation, from chemicals in additives, foods that have been stored for a long time or pickled foods… In addition, biological factors related to infectious diseases also belong to physical agents. For example, long-term infection with viruses B and C can increase the risk of liver cancer. Women who are unlucky enough to be infected with the HPV virus are also at a higher risk of cervical cancer and anal cancer. Recently, medicine is also mentioning and saying that the tendency of cancer in the oropharynx, tonsils, and bottom of the tongue is also caused by physical factors.

In terms of intrinsic factors, if there is a family history of cancer, the risk of thyroid cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and colorectal cancer also increases. Women who carry mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes are also at high risk for breast cancer. In addition, people over the age of 40 are also at high risk of cancer, due to the long-term exposure of the body to carcinogens in the environment.

Intrinsic factors are mainly related to genes. The genetic mutation that has been linked to cancer is inherited from a previous generation. Besides, obese people and patients with long-term chronic inflammation are also at high risk. Prolonged inflammation will promote the body to repair, which can gradually lead to errors that cause gene mutations, which can cause cancer.

Interested readers can review the entire program here.

Mai Trinh


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