I often answer cancer coaching questions by telling clients that the key to their diagnosis is diagnostic testing. Further a growing number of newly diagnosed patients are asking me about immunotherapy. The media would have patients believe that one or more genetic tests can identify their cancer’s key mutation.
Diagnostics is no longer about cancer in an organ or body part. It’s now about the molecular make-up of your cancer. At least that’s the theory behind immunotherapy.
According to the article excerpted and linked below, there is little if any evidence that cancer genetic testing helps patients live longer lives.
I am a long-term survivor of an “incurable” cancer. I am also a cancer coach. I am confidant that some day oncology will figure out cancer genetic testing. In the meantime cancer patients and survivors must rely on the full spectrum of cancer therapies.
For more information about both conventional and evidence-based non-conventional cancer therapies scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP.
“Since laboratory diagnostics are regulated lightly in the United States, these tests have gone to market without consensus about their accuracy or data showing that they really help patients live longer…
So far, most insurers, including Medicare, don’t pay for these kinds of tests. They don’t think it’s their role to underwrite what looks like a research experiment. Health insurer Anthem labels the tests “investigational and not medically necessary.” Cigna calls them “unproven…”
If doctors can spot a patient’s key mutation, they can pick one of about 50 drugs designed to work directly against these DNA defects. The number of such “targeted” drugs is up sharply, from only around 15 in 2008…
“We get many calls from doctors with results from [a tissue biopsy] and then totally different results from a liquid biopsy,” says the company’s chief scientific officer, Phil Stephens. “The results are completely discordant and all over the map…
Cancer treatment is undergoing a transition. Until now, tumors have been assessed based on what a pathologist sees through a microscope. But it’s actually mutations to DNA that cause cells to go haywire. Several cutting-edge cancer drugs already require a genetic test, but usually for just a single gene, to determine if patients should get it…”