Blood tests can be incredibly useful, as they help people detect certain health conditions before any symptoms are present. Now, a new research discovered how blood tests might detect cancer while in its early stages. This might significantly contribute to the decrease of mortality, as most of these cancers turn out deadly if discovered during an advanced stage.
The blood test analyzed fragments of mutated DNA found in blood
The study was detailed in the journal Science Translational Medicine, and explains how the miraculous blood test works. It searches for fragments of DNA which usually get dumped in the blood by malignant tumors. Then, researchers reviewed these fragments and looked for mutations known to occur in 58 genes associated with cancer.
This is how the test is able to identify cancer even if it’s still in an early stage. The method is effective, as it doesn’t return false positive results for people who are actually healthy. So far, the test managed to detect colon cancer in stage one and two, breast, ovarian, or lung cancer. This happened between 59 and 71 percent of the time, after assessing 200 people who had already received a diagnosis.
Detecting cancer early greatly increases the chances of survival
Early detection means more chances of survival. Usually, there is a difference of about several millions of lives between early stage and late stage survival. Therefore, many lives can be saved by this blood test, as well as provide an effective method of screening.
While performing the blood test, researchers need to be careful not to mistake regular DNA mutations for malignant ones. Such phenomena occur naturally, and might catch the eye and lead to false alarms. Therefore, it’s important to know how to recognize a cancer mutation.
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