A New Advance in Cancer Testing

Liquid biopsy testing for undetected cancers.

We have written before about the unfortunate existence of genetic testing scams. But today, we share good news about a new advance in cancer testing.

Finding Undiagnosed Careers: A New Advance in Cancer Testing

According to Amy Mone of Johns Hopkins University, writing for Futurity:

A liquid biopsy test can safely detect as many as 26 undiagnosed cancers, according to a study of 9,900 women with no evidence or history of cancer. The findings show the test could be incorporated into routine clinical care in combination with conventional screening.

Overall, the blood test detected 26 cancers. While standard screening such as mammography or colonoscopy detected an additional 24 cancers. Together, screen-detected cancers (those detected through either blood testing or standard screening), accounted for more than half of the 96 cancers detected during the study period.

Diagnostic PET-CT most often localized cancers the new test detected. Surgeons could remove 12 of the cancers the blood test detected.

Researchers at the Ludwig Center at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, who developed the blood test, say the study, called DETECT-A (Detecting cancers Earlier Through Elective mutation-based blood Collection and Testing) represents the first time researchers used any liquid biopsy blood test clinically to screen for cancer in a population without previously detected cancer for the purpose of diagnosis and intervention—specifically treatment with the intent to cure cancer.

Click the image to read more from Mone. 

A New Advance in Cancer Testing

 

About the Coronavirus

Facts versus myths.

We have waited until this week to write about the coronavirus. Why? Because of the fast-changing situations around the world. As well as the considerable misinformation that has been spread.

Today, we strive to learn more about the facts surrounding the coronavirus. Thursday, we look at the coronavirus from the perspective of someone who is considered high risk. That person is me (Joel Evans).

Digging Out Facts About the Coronavirus

It is amazing that new details are coming out every day about the coronavirus, in terms of symptoms, testing, the number contracting the virus,  what to do with those who are infected, etc.

Worldwide, there has been a lack of transparency with regard to so many aspects of the coronavirus. And there is a worldwide panic about the looming “pandemic.” About 300 million children have had their schools closed.  Numerous events have been cancelled or postponed. And lots of companies have asked/told their employees to work at home.

Background

We are NOT going into depth about the statistics on the coronavirus, formally name COVID-19. They are constantly changing. As of the writing of this post, COVID-19 has spread to nearly 100 countries, affected more than 100,000 people worldwide, and resulted in about 3,500 deaths.

As reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation:

“In late 2019, a new coronavirus emerged in central China to cause disease in humans. Cases of this disease, known as COVID-19, have since been reported across China and in many other countries around the globe. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus represents a public health emergency of international concern. And on January 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared it to be a health emergency for the United States.”

This tracker provides the number of cases and deaths from novel coronavirus by country, the trend in case and death counts by country, and a global map showing which countries have cases and deaths. The data are drawn directly from official  coronavirus situation reports released regularly by the WHO. It should be noted that the WHO reported case numbers are conservative, and likely represent an undercount of the true number of coronavirus cases, especially in China. The tracker will be updated regularly, as new situation reports are released.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”) is the U.S. agency overseeing efforts. Click here for its COVID-19 Web site.

Key Facts

Following, we present several other strong sources of information.

Johns Hopkins probably has the most accurate data about COVID-19 in the United States and around the world. It regularly contacts health organizations and even has a real-time interactive map. Click the image to access the map.

About the Coronavirus

In addition, Johns Hopkins provides a free quiz on the myths and facts of COVID-19. Click here to access it.  BE AWARE.

The European Union has a dedicated COVID-19 Web site. As well as an infographic overview.

About the Coronavirus

Consumer Reports has an-depth COVID-19 Web site. Click the link at the start of this line. Then, click the image for a very good series of FAQs,

About the Coronavirus

Worldvision.org also has an excellent, full-featured Web site.

 

Best Practices to Improve Reporting of Patient Safety Concerns

University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins Medicine looked at what prevented employees from raising patient safety concerns.

Too often, patient safety concerns about their care in medical facilities has gone unreported or under-reported. In response, there is new research about how to fix this.

As Johns Hopkins reports:

“In a case study published online last week in Academic Medicine, an international team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins Medicine looked at what prevented employees from raising concerns. The study identifies measures to help health care organizations encourage their employees to speak up and recommends a systematic approach to promoting employee voice that appears to have already made a positive impact at Johns Hopkins.”

“It’s not enough just to say you’re committed to employee voice. Health care staff must genuinely feel comfortable speaking up if organizations are going to provide safe, high-quality care,” says Mary Dixon-Woods, D.Phil., M.Sc., a professor at the University of Cambridge, director of THIS Institute (The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute) and the study’s lead author. “Even when reporting mechanisms are in place, employees may not report disruptive behaviors if they don’t feel safe in doing so and don’t think their concerns will be addressed.”

“Because health-care workers often are reluctant to raise concerns about co-workers and unsafe behaviors, leadership at Johns Hopkins Medicine sought to encourage employee voice in the organization by first identifying barriers. To address the issues raised in these interviews, Johns Hopkins leaders developed, implemented, and in some cases expanded a series of interventions from fall 2014 through summer 2016. These interventions included clear definitions of acceptable and unacceptable behavior, well-coordinated reporting mechanisms, leadership training on having difficult conversations, and consistent consequences for disruptive behaviors.”

 

Click the image to read more.
Best Practices to Improve Reporting of Patient Concerns
Credit: iStock