The biotechnology revolution is going to change the way we treat cancer and all sorts of medical diseases. We, perhaps, are going to reach a day where breast cancer can be treated in one trip to the doctor’s office.
Imagine going in for your mammogram in the morning, being told you have a breast “nodule,” and have the diagnosis made within minutes by a “Dr. McCoy handheld Star Trek Scanner thingy.” Imagine removing that cancerous nodule by drawing it out through a needle like soda through a straw, using a Buck Rogers Ray Gun to deliver a dose of radiation immediately afterwards and then taking a pill to kill any remaining cancer cells – all in one day! Can this really happen? We treat life threatening infections that way. Appendicitis used to be a lethal disease that would kill adults and children alike. Nowadays, you get some antibiotics, have surgery and go home on the same day. In 1913 the thought of treating appendicitis with a magic pill and same-day surgery would have landed you in the funny house.
But technology can do amazing and wonderful things.
Breast cancer used to be diagnosed by feeling a lump in the breast and having a surgeon cut it out. Now we use a Larmour Frequency in a magnetic field to identify a breast cancer in an MRI machine. We then gently place a small needle (it’s a large needle if it’s your breast) into the mass to collect some tissue and make a diagnosis. Now, imagine using that same needle to completely remove the cancer, like using the vacuum cleaner under your child’s bed. Wow!
Now imagine the doctor places another needle into your breast and then connects the needle to a machine sitting right next to you. The doctor turns on that machine and a radioactive seed enters your breast and delivers cancer killing gamma rays to destroy any remaining tumor in your breast. Amazing!
By now the pathologist has used advanced technology to identify your specific breast cancer. We know that breast cancer is not simply one disease, there are really at least five different types that can be even further grouped into hundreds of different subtypes. Your pathologist uses molecular probes that search for certain proteins on the outside layer of cells. Its as if your pathologist went to a SEC football game and had to decide which teams were playing. The pathologist basically shines a fancy light on the football helmet, i.e. your cancer, measures the intensity and color of the reflection off the helmet, and then determines which teams are playing. Then the pathologist uses a nanorobot to probe the brain of your breast cancer, a sort of Vulcan Mind Meld to really understand the type of breast cancer you have.
Having identified your specific type of breast cancer, your doctor looks up the recipe on her iPhone and gives you a pill full of Nano-tubes and Bucky-Balls to cure you of any remaining breast cancer cells. And away you go, still with enough time to make it to the nail salon before closing.