Good News: Cancer May Now Be Detected Early with Blood Tests

· May 10, 2017
Even though it's still in the experimental stages,  this medical advance could be an alternative to invasive tests for early cancer detection. Learn more about it in this article.

Some studies carried out by the CSIC are gathering interesting data to help detect cancer in its first stages.

This will allow the early diagnosis of tumors by way of a blood test.

Very soon this will be available in medical laboratories in the entire world. This new method being developed by Spanish scientists amplifies DNA.

These advances are very important in the early detection of cancer with a simple blood test. 

The CSIC study

A team of scientists of the CSIC has developed the first solution to allow amplification of small amounts of DNA.

  • Labs need a small amount of blood to be able to categorize it, read it, and analyze it.
  • In the second phase, an evaluation would be carried out to see if the person is developing a cancerous tumor.

This new method of detecting cancer is being carried out in Spanish hospitals and has two great advantages:

  • It’s hardly invasive at all (a simple blood analysis is sufficient).
  • Detects tumors in the initial phases.

Luis Blanco, from the Severo Ochoa Biological Molecular Center of the CSIC in Spain, has claimed that this discovery is going to be an advance with the same importance of MRIs when they were developed at the time.

The future of research for early cancer detection

Although important advances have been made, it is important to continue the research.

This is the only way we will be able to apply these techniques on a grand scale to diagnose tumors in the early phases. We will also be able to diagnose other types of hereditary diseases.

These are known as nano sensor bio-markers for detecting cancer. These are turning into viable alternatives to invasive biopsies of metastasized tumors.

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Characteristics of colon cancer

Normally colon cancer has its origin in an abnormal function of the colon or rectal cells that divide uncontrolled until they form a malignant tumor.

This type of cancer tends to start with the formation of a small polyp in the tissue of the internal surface of the colon and rectum.

The polyps tend to present themselves in different forms: elevated or flat. Elevated polyps can have the shape of a mushroom with or without a stem.

Tests show polyps very frequently in people over the age of 50 and the vast majority do not have cancerous characteristics.

What are the factors that are risky for this type of cancer?

  • Family history and advance age are principle factors.
  • There are other influential factors such as high consumption of alcohol, obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, and an unbalanced diet.
  • At the same time, there are certain groups of people who are at a high risk. Among these are those who suffer ulcerous colitis or those who have Crohn’s disease.

Detecting colon cancer

Continuous advances in medicine have made the early detection of colon cancer possible.  This is why doctors recommend tests before the person notes symptoms.

They use various methods for detection of colon cancer.

Doctors recommend early detection of colon cancer at 50 years of age and to do the test same every 2 years.

Since some people have a family history of the disease, doctors recommend that these patients have tests done earlier than 50 years of age and more often than others.

One of the most common tests is to look for blood hidden in feces. 

  • For this test, at the pharmacy, you can get a bag with a small tube to deposit the sample to take to the lab.
  • In this, there is a small stick attached to the lid which you can use to deposit the feces in the tube and close it.

Also see: 4 tips to alleviate irritable bowel syndrome

Test results

  • If there is no blood in the feces, there is probably not a tumor. Nevertheless, as we have stated, you still need to have the test done every 2 years.
  • However, detecting blood in the stool does not necessarily mean that there is colon cancer in the majority of cases.