Laser technology has revolutionized the medical field in recent years. And lasers are now a standard tool used in a wide variety of procedures. Lasers allow a surgeon to operate with a degree of precision that was never possible with a standard steel scalpel. As Davis Vision reminds, LASIK eye surgery has been around for many years, allowing people with previously terrible vision to see clearly once more, and new medical innovations involving lasers are being created all the time. Here are some of the most exciting technologies changing our medicine and health for the better.
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Treatment of Cancer
When people think of lasers, they usually think of them being used to cut things. While that is still their primary function, there are other ways in which lasers can be utilized. For example, photo-dynamic therapy is accomplished by administering a specific drug that causes extreme light sensitivity to cancer cells. When the region of the body that is affected by cancer is targeted with the laser, the cancerous cells are eliminated by the activation of the drug. This particular form of laser treatment has so far been focused primarily on cancers of the skin. However, doctors hope to start treating cancer in other parts of the body with this method in the near future. This might be done surgically with lasers or hopefully topically with more technology being created to penetrate skin and work into deeper cells. Research is ongoing, but it will be a great advancement in treatment and recovery time for patients if all does pan out.
Diagnosing Diseases Early
Another use for lasers not related to their cutting ability involves their use in the early diagnosis of certain diseases. This technique is still in the early stages, but shows an enormous amount of promise. When the light of a laser is directed on specific parts of the body, the light that gets reflected back can tell doctors if cancer is present. The analysis of the light that is reflected back can allow doctors to make a diagnosis that is more accurate than it otherwise would have been. Using this technique enables doctors to collect a significant amount of data concerning abnormal cell activity in that region of the body. Also, this treatment prevents patients from needing to get a biopsy. This form or treatment is still being studied, but doctors believe we are only scratching the surface of its potential benefits.
The Development of Diseases
Scientists are beginning to use lasers in an attempt to learn more about the development of diseases as well. This includes the reaction that cells have to various diseases. This technique is vital to potentially finding a cure for major diseases being researched and studied today. The process involves the illumination of dyed molecules by lasers. Scientists believe that this method of treatment will eventually open the door to making drugs that are customized to a person’s specific illness. Basically, these drugs will be made to interact perfectly with the specific patient’s DNA, enabling more effective treatment for diseases such as cancer.
There is no limit to the things that lasers can do when it comes to medical science. The coming years will undoubtedly reveal numerous amazing breakthroughs involving lasers and other medical technology. The global population will benefit greatly from these advances, and we can expect to see much more advancement in health and treatment of disease worldwide. All that’s needed is proper funding and specific research in each area both medically and technologically. By working together the future looks bright.
By Brooke Chaplan