While cancer is often a serious and life-threatening disease, there are some slow growing cancers that may be better left untreated. Learning to distinguish between the two can save patients unnecessary surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatments, as well as the risk of serious side-effects.
Pathologist and researcher Dr. David Berman specializes in developing and improving existing diagnostic techniques to help doctors more accurately determine whether or not a cancer merits treatment, and if so, what might be the best course of care to offer their patients.
“Right now about half of men diagnosed with prostate cancer have a prostate cancer that will never harm them. If we had more quantitative measurements we could get more information about the patient’s prostate cancer more accurately classified,” said Dr. Berman
Dr. Berman’s work in bladder and prostate cancer involves identifying biomarkers that can improve diagnosis, as well as tests that can identify which patients would most benefit from specific types of chemotherapy. By developing techniques that can identify dangerous cancers while minimizing the use of invasive surgical procedures, researchers can help to improve standards of care.
“We’re going places that no one’s ever been and it’s a real privilege and thats why we do research,” says Dr. Berman.
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