A vital goal of diagnostic medicine is to be able to diagnose medical problems as swiftly as possible, enabling clinicians to treat patients before any irreversible or long-lasting damage can occur.
Speeding up the process of diagnosis is a major focus of research. Recent studies reported on by Medical News Today include one study that found a new blood test could predict a woman’s risk of breast cancer recurrence almost 8 months before visible signs appeared.
Another study published in August identified a natural compound found in the breath as a biomarker of early-stage cirrhosis of the liver. This biomarker could one day form the basis of a breath test to diagnose this disease.
One problem that arises with diagnosing medical conditions is that the symptoms of some conditions only arise after a certain amount of time. By the time these symptoms come to the surface, the underlying condition will have progressed to a stage at which its treatment is much more complicated than it would have been had the problem been discovered earlier.