Early Detection – for liver diseases (including mets/cancer)
Most people would think that a mammogram is the best early detection device for breast cancer– its not 100% accurate.. and detecting early stage cancer is not a prevention measure, because once a cancer is detected even if it is early stage– you cannot prevent it anymore, its already there.
The best early detection device (at least for me & my mother)–for prevention measure are diagnostic tests that can see abnormalities in your breast tissue, even before tumour/malignancy/cancer takes hold..and diagnostic tests that does not expose you to radiation– best bets for detecting breast abnormalities are (breast ultrasound with elastography & thermograpy — find technicians/clinics who are experts in reading breast abnormalities– I know its hard to find these days– but if you are young, with no breast cancer yet, this is what you should find).
The subject of this blog entry though is early detection of liver diseases. Knowing my mother has breast cancer, and we are hoping for the best, while preparing for the worst– (worst= is her cancer spreads to vital organs such as the liver)..
Due to her digestive issues and her struggle in metabolizing estrogen, I have a hunch that something is wrong with her liver. I tried to find out what is the difference between all of the liver diagnostic tests as follows:
CT/PET Scan – with low dose radiation
MRI- still with low dose radiation
Liver Tumour Markers – blood test which will only be effective for those who have a liver cancer already (for monitoring purposes)
Liver Function Test (LFT) – blood test, definition & comparison with Liver Tumour Markers here
Liver Detoxification Profile (FLDP) – 24 hour urine test
Fibroscan – alternative to CT/PET SCAN/MRI without the radiation
My mother’s Liver Function Test (LFT) and Liver Tumour Markers was ordered by an Oncologist, while the Liver Detoxification Profile is ordered by Dr. Ian Lee of Integrated Medicine Clinic, while Fibroscan will be ordered by a hepatologist at Asia Health Partners.
According to Dr. Ian Lee of Integrated Medicine Clinic:
The standard LFT (ordered by the Oncologist) is limited to its evaluation of liver enzymes and does not provide any information on liver detoxification. To establish or truly evaluate liver function the LFT is medically of little use.
This was clearly highlighted by Professes Eddlestone years ago in the Oxford Textbook of Medicine (Eddlestion, 1984 sect. 12. p. 196) when he pointed out while the standard tests “routinely used as indices of liver damage are usually referred to as indices of liver damage are usually referred to as liver function tests, most are not true tests of function but rather reflect heptocellura damage or cholestasis.
To test the functional liver detoxification profile (FLDP) in detail is important as without proper enzyme function the liver will be less able to excrete substances such as hormones, drugs and other chemicals, which may significantly affect an individual’s health status. Impaired liver function may influence or impair the metabolism of hundreds of different xenobiotics or drugs and substances of dietary or endogenous origin.
A great article to help you start a conversation with your doctor (primary care doctor, hepatologist, or endocrinologist),
If you are based in Singapore:
1. you can request for Functional Liver Detoxification Profile from Integrated Medicine Clinice
Nanay’s 24 hour urine sample was picked-up today. We will know the results 3-4 weeks from now.
2. you can request for Liver Tumour Markers as well as Liver Function Test from Parkway Cancer Centre
We received the results of the Liver Tumour Markers and LFT today. Including Breast/Ovaries Tumour Markers, Full Blood Count. All within normal range.
3. you can request for Liver Function Test and Fibroscan from Asia Health Partners
Fibroscan and another LFT test scheduled on 30th April 2011