Medical Video: Tracking cancer with a blood test
Cancer is often referred to as silent killer aka the silent killer because it is difficult to detect. That's why doctors usually need to do a series of lengthy and complex medical examinations to ensure a cancer diagnosis in their patients. However, now experts have found that cancer cells can be detected only by blood tests. So, what types of cancer can be detected through a blood test? Here's the explanation.
Detect 8 types of cancer through a blood test
Early diagnosis is the key to reducing the risk of death from cancer. The faster the cancer is found, the better the chances of recovery.
Now, as one way to realize early diagnosis, a team of experts from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. United States, find ways to detect cancer that is easier, faster, and effective through blood tests.
They theorize that at the beginning of its formation, cancer cells will release proteins and small fragments of DNA into the bloodstream. Well, this component is believed to be able to help researchers to detect cancer through a blood test.
After trying to observe more than 1,000 blood samples, a study published in the journal Science managed to find a new blood test called "CancerSEEK".
This blood test is able to recognize 16 gene mutations and 8 proteins in the blood that come from 8 types of cancer. Types of cancer includebreast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, and esophageal cancer.
Is this blood test accurate?
The CancerSEEK blood test is quite effective in detecting cancer. This blood test is able to recognize 70% of cancer cases with different levels of accuracy.
The CancerSEEK blood test is able to detect breast cancer with accuracy of up to 33 percent, while the accuracy of ovarian cancer detection is 98 percent. Other types of cancer have an accuracy that ranges from 69-98 percent.
Moreover, as many as 83 percent of patients can know the exact location of the tumor through this blood test. So, the CancerSEEK blood test is no doubt to help detect cancer in the body.
Further research is still needed
Despite being a breath of fresh air in the aspect of cancer diagnosis, this blood test still needs further research before it can be used massively. Because the results of this study are still fairly simple and require more samples to prove it.
However, efforts to detect cancer as early as possible are the key to treating cancer before it's too late because the disease is usually asymptomatic.
Take for example in cases of breast cancer. In stage zero to 1 breast cancer, cancer cells actually exist but are only limited to the breast channel or have not spread until they show significant symptoms. That's why many women don't realize they have cancer.
Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor as soon as possible to diagnose your cancer risk, regardless of the type of cancer.
If you feel something unusual in the body, you should not delay the doctor again. The sooner you check your health, the faster you will prevent the disease before it develops more severely.