While cancer has proven itself to be mankind’s greatest and most complex disease, scientists continue to try to understand it and come up with solutions to put an end to it once and for all. And a new study shows great promise, as some researchers have developed a blood test that might save lives way before cancer can strike back at its victims.
The blood test is meant to identify re-emerging breast cancer cells ahead of their out of control reproduction. The main issue with breast cancer is that it is difficult to treat and, even if it is treated successfully, there are many cases in the world in which women come back with a reformed cancer which is in such an advanced state that doctors cannot do anything anymore.
The scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research in London were able to spot signs of cancer as much as eight months before any doctor could have normally noticed them. This is a great advancement since eight months are enough time to properly treat the cancer and even eliminate it. They are eight months in which something can be done.
The trial that the scientists conducted involved 15 women who had experienced breast cancer before, and the blood test found a number of 12 cancers that were set to come back. But the experts mentioned that there still might be some time until the test can be released for public hospital use. Most likely because 15 patients is a little trial to begin with.
One of the main methods of dealing with breast cancer is through surgery. But cancer usually starts from one cancerous cell. Supposing that the tumor has, indeed, been removed, if one cell has managed to escape in another part of the body, the surgery was practically in vain. That one cell is going to come back and redevelop over time until a new tumor is created.
The uncertainty of the test was proven by the fact that scientists did not tell the women that cancerous cells have been detected in their bodies. It would have been unethical to rush into decisions based on a test that has been performed on 15 people.
But the truth is that the results are quite promising and doctors are looking forward to this medical advancement. If this test does prove accurate, it might increase life expectancy in breast cancer patients by the thousands and we might be one step closer to defeating cancer.
Photo Credits pixabay.com
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