Genomic sequencing brings new hope to fighting cancer.
We are are beginning to win the fight against cancer. Patients who a few years ago had no hope are now seeing remission. One of the breakthroughs helping to advance cancer treatment is genomic sequencing.
WHAT IS GENOMIC SEQUENCING?
- It is far more in-depth than the quick DNA studies you see offered on TV to identify your national origin.
- Medical-grade genomic sequencing analyzes billions of the parts of your DNA chain to find the aberrations, the defects, which may be driving your cancer.
- These defects can be caused by genetics or your environment, but their origin is often unknown.
- Your cancer’s makeup is unique to you, the result of specific alterations in your DNA which genomic sequencing may identify to help your doctor plan effective treatment.
A HELPFUL ILLUSTRATION
Think of your cancer this way. Your car suddenly stops running. It’s towed to the shop and they tell you that the spark plugs are terribly fouled and need to be replaced. But what caused the spark plugs to be fouled? Let’s say it was contaminated fuel in your gas tank. If you just change the plugs but don’t address the contaminated fuel, you’ll have to replace the plugs again.
That’s what cancer is like. Your “contaminated fuel” is defective DNA that results in “fouled plugs” (cancer). Cancer treatment based upon genomic sequencing may attack both the cancer itself and the defective genes which caused it.
The source—the drivers of your cancer–may be eliminated by equipping your own immune system (immunotherapy) to defeat the defective genes. At the same time, other drugs, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery will seek to wipe out the cancer your drivers have produced.
A BREAST CANCER EXAMPLE
A known driver of breast cancer is the genetic defect known as BRCA-2. Researchers have learned the right combination of drugs to use in fighting BRCA-2. The results have been dramatic. Stage 4 breast cancer patients are often experiencing complete remission—a state physicians refer to as “no evidence of disease.”
FIGHTING THE FEAR
No matter how advanced your treatment is, there will be times when fear overtakes you. It happens to us all. In those moments, we cry out for hope against the enemy we face.
For more help with fighting fear, read this article.
Note: We are not doctors and we cannot answer your medical questions. However, we welcome your questions about finding hope and knowing God.