Cancer is the second highest cause of death globally. One in every six deaths is a result of cancer. This disease causes untold suffering for many people around the globe. This includes financial pressure and emotional and physical turmoil. There are many types of cancer. In women, Breast, Lung, cervical, thyroid, and brain cancer are common. Lung, prostate, liver, stomach, and colorectal cancer are very common in men. This disease has wreaked havoc on many families and communities.
In many developing countries, the healthcare systems are not equipped for the proper diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This has led to late detection while many patients are at level 4. Many patients are counting the months and days to live by this time. In the more developed countries, the health care systems are well equipped to diagnose and treat the disease.
There is a lot of research that has gone into the treatment and cure of this disease. The History of DNA is now playing a vital role in treating cancer through genomic technology. Previously cancer has been classified based on location in the body. It is now possible to view the characteristics of the various genetic mutations that lead to and help in cancer development in a person. This is achieved through the use of genome sequencing.
Genomics helps physicians understand the cause of a person's cancer. It also assists them in understanding beforehand how cancer will progress and the response to treatment. It provides clinicians with information to decide on precise oncology treatments and detect resistance to treatment therapy.
Genomics in cancer aims to understand the genetic reason for tumor cells' rapid multiplication and progression. The knowledge gained while the cancer cells are in the body's environment, being fought by the immune system while undergoing therapy, is crucial.
Next- Generation Sequencing
For a long time, clinicians have had to run a specific test to look for a single mutation in a cancerous cell. This would mean that many tests would have to be done to identify several mutations in a cancerous cell. Recently the use of Next-generation Sequencing has come in handy. It allows clinicians to perform many gene tests simultaneously. It has helped in the reduction of the duration of testing and the cost also.
Using Next-generation Sequencing and improved computational data analysis has helped understand cancer development and progression.
Improved cancer diagnosis using genomics
Currently, cancer screening is based on physical examination, imagining, and biopsy collection in case of a tumor suspicion. Biopsy collection may be painful or uncomfortable as it may entail a surgical procedure. The collected tissue sample is taken for molecular testing to confirm the presence of cancer bio-makers. Upon detection of cancer-specific bio-markers, a treatment regime and therapy are selected.
The patients are matched with the appropriate therapy depending on the location and severity of cancer. Many patients respond poorly to treatment or may not respond at all. Exploiting the power of genomics is the key to cancer treatment and improved survival of cancer patients.