WHAT BLOOD CAN TELL YOU
It’s possible we will live to see a time where a blood test will show almost everything, and steps in this direction have already been done. Ideally, a person would donate blood once a year, and then for many of the undiagnosed out there the disease will be detected at its earliest stages. This post is about a universal blood analysis for cancer developed by American scientists.
Optimists believe that the results are stunning and that they’ve found the Holy Grail, while pessimists always say don’t celebrate too early.
The fact is that cancerous tumors manifest themselves in a certain manner – they produce sections of mutated DNA and oncomarker proteins in the blood. This new test searches for these oncomarkers and mutations in a group of genes, the breakdown of which usually causes cancer. Although the tumor is just beginning to emerge, it can theoretically (and sometimes practically) already be detected. Do I need to say how important this is?
To date, in 5 cases out of 8, cancer was impossible to catch at an early stage.
In a new experiment, American scientists had more than 1000 participants – patients with stomach, pancreatic, esophageal, colon, ovarian, liver, lung, and chest cancers that had not yet metastasized, or in other words spread to other organs. So how effective was their test? Very effective – 70% of the cases. The test worked; it confirmed the presence of cancer. And while it’s true that it wasn’t as sensitive to cancer in its first stage (40%), the first step is always the hardest.
Now, the test will be run on a large group of people who don’t have cancer, as far as they and their doctors know. It’s understood that someone will have it, just undiagnosed. Also, the number of proteins and mutations that can be studied is far greater.
Only after that can we really say something definite about this test – and I’m optimistic!
Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash