Why All the Blood Tests?

Dr. Bradley Heraly joins us today to delve into the world of blood tests in cancer clinics. We demystify the reasons for frequent testing, clarify the misconceptions about the information they provide, and discuss the present and potential future role of these tests in cancer treatment. We discuss how routine blood tests help doctors determine if patients have sufficiently recovered from treatment and the potential of DNA-based testing in identifying cancer. We also discuss the realities of patient experiences and the psychological impact of these tests and share our perspectives on the evolving technology in the field of Oncology.

Dr. Bradley Heraly is a distinguished medical oncologist and hematologist from Casco, Wisconsin. After graduating from medical school at the Chicago Medical School’s Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, he polished his skills at notable institutions, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota Medical Center. Dr. Heraly is devoted to delivering personalized and empathetic care, leveraging his extensive expertise in cancer treatments and adult blood disorders. Participating in the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) trials, he is interested in immunotherapy, bladder cancer, and renal cancer. When not caring for his patients, Dr. Heraly enjoys outdoor activities such as parasailing, biking, and camping, with a penchant for coaching sports and fantasy football. His calming and attentive nature and genuine interest in building strong patient relationships set the foundation for his personalized approach to cancer care.

“Infections are our biggest risk in chemotherapy, and blood tests help us monitor and prevent them.”
– Dr. Bradley Heraly

This week on Cancer Covered:

  • The importance and frequency of blood tests in cancer clinics
  • Common misconceptions about what blood tests can reveal about a patient’s cancer
  • The limitations of current technology in detecting cancer cells in blood samples
  • The potential of DNA and RNA-based testing in early cancer detection
  • The challenges posed by the heterogeneity of cancer
  • The role of tumor markers and their limitations
  • Future prospects for blood testing in oncology
  • Assessing organ function for safe chemotherapy treatment
  • The impact of chemotherapy on bone marrow function and blood cell levels
  • Misconceptions around the necessity of routine blood tests after completing treatment
  • The importance of expert guidance and staying cautious while researching online

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