(WXYZ) When it comes to fighting cancer, a potential “medical game-changer” has recently been developed. Australian researchers have created a simple test that can detect cancer anywhere in the body.
This new test could be ground-breaking, and, amazingly, it takes only 10 minutes. Cancer changes the DNA of healthy cells. And the researchers figured out that cancer will form a unique DNA structure when placed in water. It actually folds into a three-dimensional structure and looks very different from normal DNA tissue. Apparently, any tissue type can be used, including blood.
Now the test is also a color changing test. It uses tiny gold particles that not only stick to cancer cells if they are present but also changes the color too. And this can be seen with the naked eye. The test appears to be an easy, non-invasive, portable and cost-effective way to detect cancer.
How accurate is it?
The test has a high accuracy rate, at 90%. But that does leave room for false positive results, which is concerning.
Right now, the test has only been used to detect bowel, breast, prostate and lymphoma cancers. But the researchers believe it will work with other types as well. Which would be good for those much-dreaded killer cancers that don’t have early warning signs, like ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer.
When will this test be on the market?
Before it can be used on patients, it needs to be tested on people in large clinical trials first. I know that a lot of people fear cancer. And if this test can identify cancer in the early stages, that means it would give you a much better shot at beating the disease. Because generally, early detection increases success rates.
In the meantime, we should all be looking closely at our habits. What are you doing to prevent cancer? Be sure you get the appropriate screening tests, exercise regularly, don’t smoke, eat healthy foods, limit alcohol and protect your skin from the sun.
- Get enough vitamin D: 800 to 1,000 IU a day is recommended. Research suggests vitamin D may help reduce the risk of some cancers like colon, liver and prostate cancer.
- Avoid infections like HIV, hepatitis viruses, and the human papillomavirus (HPV). These contribute to cancer and can be picked up via contaminated needles or unsafe sex.
- Avoid secondhand smoke. It can increase your risk of developing lung cancer by 20 – 30%, as it contains many cancer-causing and toxic chemicals.
- Stay lean and keep a healthy weight. Obesity increases your risk of many forms of cancer including endometrial (uterine), breast in postmenopausal women, and colorectal cancers.