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New Lupus Screening Procedures Found
It was my cousin, but it might be your mother, sister or friend. Many of us may know or have known someone in our life with lupus. This chronic, autoimmune disease affects more than 1.6 million Americans. Although there is no cure for this disease, there have been recent developments in lupus screening procedures, which will eventually lead the way to better treatments.
Lupus symptoms include extreme fatigue, skin rashes and joint pain. The disease is usually diagnosed after a patient visits the doctor with these symptoms and other illnesses are ruled out. Currently, lupus is not diagnosable with just one test.
“New lupus screening tests are better than previous ones because they are more sensitive and specific, based on the methodology for those tests,” said Dr. Dhiman Basu, a rheumatologist at Texas Health Physicians Group. “Also, based on the new Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics’ criteria for lupus inclusion of alopecia, C3, C4 and CH50 have increased the diagnostic yield for lupus and opportunity for early lupus screening.”
Texas Health Physicians Group includes more than 800 physicians (PCPs and specialists), physician assistants, nurse practitioners and medical professionals located in 260 locations across North Texas, including the North Dallas Corridor.
These new breakthroughs in screening procedures will allow doctors to create a more focalized treatment plan. However, it will be awhile before these new screening procedures will produce better ways to treat the disease.
Dr. Basu said current approved treatments for lupus include steroids and other medications as the first step, with the idea to taper off steroids. Also, other intravenous medications can be tailored based on the organ involved.
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, more than 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported annually across the country, and it is believed that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus. For more information and how you can help aid the research behind developing better treatment options, please visit www.lupus.org.