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New test could revolutionise cancer diagnostics

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 | News

A newly developed cancer test could completely change how the disease is diagnosed, thanks to a new method of looking for mutated cells in the body.


Cancer is notoriously hard to destroy once it has spread from its original site. This new test catches the mutated cancerous cell far earlier than any current tests, meaning surgeons could remove it much sooner, reducing the chance of it spreading.


Currently, this new test is specifically designed to pick up the signs of oesophageal cancer. A rare form of cancer that is often caught late; of those that are diagnosed with it, only 15% make it past the first five years. However, this test could increase the chances of survival as it manages to catch the cancer much earlier than any current test available.


The simple blood test works by looking for signs of mutated cells in the patient's bloodstream; this works in the way a smoke alarm would, looking for the signs of smoke rather than fire.


As aforementioned the new test is currently specifically for oesophageal cancer, but research will also be conducted to see if the test could be effective on any other forms of cancer, pancreatic cancer being one of the most likely candidates.

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