The Future Looks Good: 4 Medical Breakthroughs that Are Set to Change Lives
In years past, if a person was diagnosed with certain illnesses, such as cancer, it was considered to be terminal. In addition, there was little hope for accident victims who had lost a lot of blood or stroke victims who didn’t recognize the signs in time. Today, with recent medical breakthroughs, the prognosis for people who have experienced these issues is much better. Treatments, though still uncertain and overwhelming, have become more advanced and less invasive, giving patients once thought to have no chance hope for the future. There have been four major medical breakthroughs with the potential to change the course of a person’s life: cell therapy, DNA sequencing kits, synthetic blood, and mobile stroke treatment units.
- Cell Therapy
Traditional cancer treatments involve using powerful chemical medications and radiation to eradicate tumor cells. While this approach has a respectable success rate and has no doubt saved countless lives, one major side effect is that it kills healthy cells. This results in a variety of negative effects on the patient. A new treatment that shows a great deal of promise is cell therapy. This form of treatment uses immune cells to attack cancer cells. A specific type of cell therapy, CAR-T, has revolutionized the treatment of certain blood-based cancers. In some cases, cancer has been completely cured. Various websites contain a plethora of information on this topic, such as that available from poseida.com.
- DNA Sequencing Kits
What was once thought to be an impossible task, sequencing the entire genome of a person, can now be done with just a simple test at home? The sample collected by an individual can then be sequenced and tested for certain gene markers. These at-home testing kits can examine a person’s DNA and give insight into the likelihood of that person developing certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases, mental illnesses, and more. The test kits can also make predictions regarding a person’s likely response to a variety of medications. While this does not replace a trip to the doctor, it can assist the doctor in providing more specific and personalized healthcare.
- Synthetic Blood
A blood substitute is a product that is used to mimic the biological processes of natural blood. It can sometimes be used in place of natural blood when a transfusion is needed. Blood substitutes are particularly useful for patients needing to replace a large volume of blood. Small amounts of blood substitute can be given to treat certain blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia. In the future, doctors and scientists hope to be able to make enough to provide large transfusions for trauma patients and those with rare blood types that often experience shortages. Synthetic blood is an attractive choice not only because it can be an option when natural blood is not available, but also because it eliminates the risk of disease transmission that comes with natural blood.
- Mobile Stroke Treatment Units
When a person has a stroke, time is of the essence. To have a chance to survive and recover, the signs and symptoms must be recognized and treated as soon as possible. Each minute following the stroke event, the patient loses up to two million neurons. Therefore, the longer it takes to receive treatment, the worse the damage to the patient’s brain is. A mobile stroke treatment unit can greatly reduce the time it takes to treat a patient who has had a stroke. An MSTU is basically an ambulance that is dedicated to the fast detection and treatment of strokes. It has the capability to determine if the stroke was caused by a blood clot and administer a drug to dissolve the clot before the patient arrives at the hospital.
Though certain illnesses and injuries can be scary and their future uncertain, they no longer are death sentences for those who are diagnosed. The medical advancements that have occurred in recent years, such as cell therapy, DNA sequencing kits, synthetic blood, and mobile stroke treatment units, have made certain illnesses and injuries easier and faster to treat. Patients and their loved ones can now enter the treatment phase with hope, rather than despair, and have confidence that the outlook is better than it has ever been.