If you’ve ever wanted that annual physical to be like having an appointment with Dr. McCoy onboard the starship USS Enterprise, your wish is a lot closer to being true. Doctors are now conducting trials of a Star Trek inspired medical probe that beams infra-red light into the body to find cancer cells.
The infra-red device can identify cancer cells that are up to 2mm below the skin’s surface and then map so doctors can find out how far it has spread. Tests are being concluded on the new medical tool by the National Institute for Health Research.
Physicians are praising the medical device and say it may well mean skin cancer is diagnosed faster. That means patients would stand a better chance of being cured if any skin cancer was found. A non-invasive approach is great for anyone who otherwise may not have gone to see the doctor because they don’t like pain, as this one has little to none of the usual pain in testing.
Potential patients can rejoice in the fact that this device means no more painful biopsies. If this medical miracle proves successful, there won’t be a reason to cut into a person’s skin to test for cancer. Plus, there will be less scars since the probe can not only find the cancer cells, but also maps out where they are and there is no need to remove large amounts of tissue.
Thousands of people get skin cancer every year. Some of these unfortunate patients even die. That fact makes the success of a new cancer seeking tool something to cheer about.
So, your next doctor’s appointment may not contain the southern accent of Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, but it might include the use of an infra-red cancer probe that even he would approve of.