Digital technology means cancer patients can get results, start treatment sooner

Daybreak

The old way of diagnosing a possible cancer case could take weeks -- now it's just hours

(WYTV) – How long does it take to diagnose a possible cancer case? Days? Weeks? And after that, how long does it take to get a second opinion? How about just hours to wait for a result?

A technique called digital pathology makes it possible.

Cancer experts are using this technique at the Ohio State University and its James Cancer Hospital. Even though it’s quick, the oncologists say it’s accurate.

“With this technology, we actually can take the slides and digitize them, and review and get them internally reviewed by a second pathologist,” Dr. Anil Parwani said.

The old way of diagnosing a possible cancer case could take weeks. We used to take tumor cells, place them on glass slides, examine them under a microscope, then sometimes mail them away for a second opinion — and wait, and wait.

Digital images are far easier to store, share and access. They allow patients to start therapy even sooner.

The Ohio State University Cancer Center has rapidly expanded its digital pathology program during the pandemic because some people have been missing their routine screenings.

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