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Researchers in Los Angeles have discovered that urine tests could hold the secret to predicting a bladder cancer patient’s chances of contracting the disease again.
In many bladder cancer patients that don’t have the treatment which involves having their bladder removed, the recurrence risk of another case of bladder cancer is high- increased further if you have a past history of bladder cancer recurrence, previous multiple tumours or particularly large tumours.
In most bladder cancer cases that don’t involve the cancer spreading over the organ’s muscle mass, there is a higher rate of recurrence, and most doctors regularly monitor their patient’s chances of recurrence through invasive procedures such as cystoscopies (which involve a thin tube with a light and a camera on the end being inserted into the bladder).
By using urine samples and marker tests which measure ‘gene methylation’ (the process which means genes have been activated or silenced – if genes are silenced, this means that tumour suppressor cells might not be doing their job and a new growth may be present) and new cell development, it’s possible for doctors to monitor their patient’s chances of recurrence through a simple and painless procedure.
Such a simple test can mean that any pre-holiday and post-holiday check-ups carried out by doctors before their patients go away can be done quickly and efficiently, with significantly less hassle, pain and stress for those suffering from the condition. This allows them to spend more time focusing on their upcoming time away and their all-important holiday planning!
However, even though your test might be clear before you travel, unexpected circumstances can still arise and it’s important to have good quality travel insurance to cover any expensive medical costs whilst you’re abroad.