HomeLifestyleHealth & FitnessThis simple blood test can detect up to 50 variants of Cancer...

This simple blood test can detect up to 50 variants of Cancer before symptoms appear

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Researchers claim to have created a groundbreaking new blood test that may detect up to 50 different cancer types before symptoms start.

The test, developed by the healthcare company GRAIL, looks for bits of tumor DNA in blood samples, also known as cell-free DNA (cfDNA).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer kills millions of people every year, with trachea, bronchus, and lung cancers ranking seventh among the top ten causes of death worldwide.

As a result, early diagnosis of tumors is seen as a critical tool for improving the odds of successful treatment and survival.

The Galleri test has been shown to detect up to 50 different types of cancer from a single blood draw, including many that are not detected by conventional screening methods, according to the company.

The company has stated, however, that this is not a stand-alone screening procedure and should be used in conjunction with other approved diagnostic tools.

A GRAIL spokesperson told Health: “Galleri is not a diagnostic test and is intended to be used as a complement to existing cancer screenings.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which supervises the sale and regulation of food, tobacco, prescription and over-the-counter drugs in the United States, has not approved the test yet.

The test is also not currently covered by insurance and must be purchased separately for $949.

The blood test, according to Health, requires a prescription from a licensed health care professional, who can then obtain it straight from Galleri.

Patients can take the test to their doctor, who will extract two vials of blood from the arm to send back to GRAIL once it arrives.

GRAIL’s labs will process the blood samples and send the results to the healthcare professional.

The findings will either read “Cancer Signal Not Detected” or “Cancer Signal Detected”.

If the latter is the case, the findings will provide the “Top Predicted Cancer Signal Origin(s),” which indicates where cancer could be found.

It is up to the healthcare provider at that moment to decide how to continue with the information.

The cancer test is “a step forward and very important for early detection of certain cancers that we don’t typically screen for,” according to Christian Rolfo, a professor of medicine at Mount Sinai’s Tisch Cancer Institute’s Center of Excellence for Thoracic Oncology.

However, the test should not be used in place of established screening procedures, but rather as a supplement, according to the expert.

He added: “We need to continue to use imaging for diagnostics.”

GRAIL, the NHS, Cancer Research UK, and King’s College London’s Cancer Prevention Trials Unit are collaborating on the trials, which began in September.

Image Credit: iStock

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