The subject of cancer has been quite dominant this summer, with scientists from all over the world trying to make breakthroughs in understanding cancer and how to cure it. The results were not always positive and a proper example can be given by the “stage 0 cancer” issue regarding breast cancer and whether or not to treat it. But some results were quite promising and we want to emphasize on one very special case.
A 24 hour cancer detection test was created by British scientists and, if the results are deemed available for many patients, this could be a major step forward. It normally takes weeks to find out if you have cancer. The simple probability is enough to make patients stay awake at night, but having to wait weeks on end, even months, can have a significant impact on their lives.
The new test, which was developed by British researchers, is thought to be able to accurately detect cancer after 24 hours and there was no hesitation to deem it as a “game changer”. This medical discovery would not only lead to the end of time-tormenting, but also to a very long era of painful procedures that would later on give a diagnostic.
Cancer can be treated more easily and effectively the earlier it is discovered. But if patients have to wait for several weeks, their condition has a chance of worsening completely. In some cases, weeks can mean the difference between two cancer stages and the later it is discovered, the harder it is to be treated. With this new blood test, things might change completely.
For the time being, cancer is usually diagnosed from a biopsy, this means that the patients need to undergo a minor surgery during which a needle will take a tissue sample. But this is only a mild example. Lung cancer, for instance, require a bronchoscopy. In this case, a large tube needs to be inserted into the patient’s lungs via the nose or mouth. It is an excruciating procedure which costs thousands of dollars and it can leave patients with complications afterwards.
The new test is a much simpler procedure: the test identifies tumor DNA from the patient’s blood. It has already been used on 223 patients who were suspected of having lung cancer and the study’s results showed that 68% of these patients were, indeed, afflicted by lung cancer.
Yet more tests need to be conducted in order to ensure the effectiveness of the test. One thing is certain, however: if it is deemed as a safe and reliable test, it is going to change the world.
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