BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Dr. Ravi Patel, director of the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center (CBCC), joined 17 News at Sunrise to discuss liquid biopsies, mastectomies and more in recent cancer research.  

According to Dr. Patel, liquid biopsies can be used to identify some types of cancers and even identify certain drugs for treatments. 

“You know the thing is, whenever you have cancer, sometimes it’s hard to get an actual biopsy and sometimes the cancer is established, you can’t find the right treatment and you need more cancer cells to see what to do,” he said.  “So, what you can do nowadays, you can take your blood, look at the genes in the blood and identify cancer cells in the blood and then even identify certain drugs which can work against them.” 

When it comes to breast cancer, Dr. Patel said a mastectomy is not always necessary. 

“[It’s] not always true, because if you have a very tiny cancer and its hormonally-driven, less aggressive, a lumpectomy can be just as good as a mastectomy,” he said.  

A lumpectomy is a minimally invasive breast-conserving surgery. 

But for more aggressive or rapidly growing cancers, a mastectomy would be a better option, according to Dr. Patel. 

Dr. Patel said diet and lifestyles have a significant role when it comes to preventing certain cancers, two “very, very preventable” types being lung and colon cancers. 

“It [a healthy lifestyle] could put us out of business, it’s as good as that” he said. “If you have very low animal fat intake, fruits and veggies, it reduces the risk of these cancers,” he said.