A Blood Test Helps Detect Cancer Before It Spreads?

Some studies carried out by the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSR) are throwing interesting conclusions to help detect cancer in its early stages.

This will allow obtaining the early diagnosis of tumors from a blood sample.

Very soon the new tool developed by Spanish scientists to amplify DNA will be available for biomedicine laboratories around the world.

These advances are very important to achieve early detection of cancer with a simple blood test.

 

The study of the CSR

A team of scientists from CSR has developed a solution of the first “kit” that allows amplifying these pieces of DNA.

  • It would be to have enough to be able to sequence, read and analyze it.
  • In a second phase, it could be detected if the person being evaluated is developing a cancerous tumor.

This new solution route to detect cancer is already being tested in Spanish hospitals and has two great advantages:

  • It is minimally invasive (a simple blood test is sufficient)
  • It detects tumors in a very initial state.

Luis Blanco, of the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Center of the CSR, has affirmed that this discovery is going to be an advance with the same importance that, in his day, he had the magnetic resonance.

The future of research to detect cancer

Although the progress made is important, it is still necessary to continue the investigation for a long time.

Only then can these techniques be applied to patients, on a large scale, to diagnose tumors in early stages and other types of genetic diseases.

In this way, the so-called “biomarker nanosensor platforms” to detect cancer are becoming viable complements to invasive biopsies of metastatic tumors.

Characteristics of colon cancer

Normally colon cancer has its origin in an abnormal functioning of cells of the colon or rectum that divide uncontrollably to form a malignant tumor.

This type of cancer usually begins with the formation of a small polyp within the tissue of the inner surface of the colon or rectum.

Polyps are usually presented in different ways: Flat or raised. Those that are elevated can have a mushroom shape with or without a stem.

Polyps are very frequent in patients over 50 years old and the vast majority is not cancerous.

What are the factors that contribute to this type of cancer?

  • The main ones are family history and advanced age.
  • There are others that can also influence, such as high alcohol consumption, obesity, lack of exercise, smoking and even an unbalanced diet.
  • In turn, there are social groups that present a greater risk. These include people suffering from ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.

Detect a colon cancer

The continuous advances in medicine make possible the early detection of the existence of colon cancer before the person begins to notice their symptoms.

Several tests can be performed in the detection process.

  • It is more than advisable to perform tests for the early detection of colon cancer after 50 years of age. These should be repeated every two years.
  • In the case of risk groups due to family background, experts advise that these tests begin before that age and more frequently in the performance of tests.

One of the most common tests to detect a colon cancer is that of the occult blood in the stool.

For the test, a bag with a small tube in which the sample will be deposited can be collected in a pharmacy.
In this tube there is a swab stuck to the stopper with which the stool sample is collected and deposited inside the tube to close it later.

Test results

If no blood is detected in the stool, it is not likely that there are tumors. However, as we have already indicated, the test must be repeated every two years.
Also, in the event that blood is detected in the stool, in most cases it does not equal the presence of a colon cancer.

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