Stomach cancer is the fifth most common malignant tumor in the world. Although experts don’t know what causes this type of cancer, they know that the key to fighting it effectively is being able to detect it in its early stages.
The most complex thing about this illness is that patients often initially demonstrate symptoms that are seen as part of ordinary life. Such symptoms include: feeling full, feeling heaviness in the stomach and poor digestion.
However, this type of cancer reaches an advanced stage once the patient has experienced inexplicable weight loss or blood appears in their feces. At this stage, they need more aggressive techniques to fight against the cancerous cells.
In May this year, a group of young doctors from Mexico, Greece and Chile created a biomarker that can help detect stomach cancer in its early stages.
This technique only requires a blood test and a two-hour wait to diagnose a patient in the early stages of stomach cancer. This is something that will obviously increase the life expectancy of the affected patients.
This is a positive piece of news that we want to share with you.
Stomach cancer and the need for an early diagnosis
Stomach cancer isn’t as common or as aggressive as lung cancer. However, each year one million people are diagnosed with stomach cancer.
If this illness is diagnosed in its advanced stages, then fighting against it will be more difficult.
This type of tumor is especially common in countries located in the Pacific. Furthermore, stomach cancer is often associated with tobacco. However, another factor that should be taken into account as a cause of this condition is helicobacter pylori bacteria.
- Despite being present in many people’s stomach lining, this bacteria can combine with other factors, which can then lead to creating cancerous cells.
- Helicobacter pylori is always a precursor of this type of cancer when a person has a specific gene: cagA, which is associated with cytotoxin.
Therefore, we can conclude that the probability of suffering from stomach cancer is due to a subtle combination of our lifestyle, the food we eat, our genetics and also the presence of different environmental toxins.
Stomach cancer is something very difficult to prevent. However, experts say that the survival rate of this type of cancer is 90% if diagnosed in its early stages.
This is why the recent developments in detecting this condition in its early stages is great news.
The creators of the biomarker
Chilean engineer Alejandro Tocigl, Greek scientist Foteini Christodoulou and Mexican electronic engineer Jorge Soto are the creators of the biomarker.
- These young scientists designed the biomarker to diagnose or rule out stomach cancer in a patient. The procedure merely requires a simple blood test.
- Their work was presented in the Singularity University program, financed by Google and NASA. The purpose of this initiative is to respond to diverse medical and social needs.
- The study and the development of this biomarker is the result of a three-year project carried out by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
Several drops of blood could save lives
A new way of detecting stomach cancer is long overdue.
This is because specialists currently diagnose patients who show symptoms of possibly suffering from this condition during appointments and patients have to wait a while for the results. Moreover, during these appointments, specialists conduct procedures such as endoscopies or other tests that are equally complex, invasive and expensive.
- Something as simple as adding this biomarker to a routine blood test could lead to early diagnosis of stomach cancer. This diagnosis could occur even before the patient has any negative symptoms.
- A machine called a Miroculus analyzes the patient’s blood sample. This machine has the ability to decipher the molecules associated with cancer in the patients blood.
- Furthermore, the Miroculus can give a diagnosis in only two hours. This machine is simple, secure and efficient. Hopefully the machine will be available in other countries by 2018.
- In light of the good results this machine produces, many specialists hope to add some improvements. This is so that the Miroculus can also detect other types of cancer and illnesses.
- In sum, this biomarker used together with a Miroculus is an inexpensive way to diagnose cancer. It could also lower the cost of other tests. Moreover, it also offers an earlier and more efficient diagnosis. However, as we’ve pointed out already, it won’t be available until 2018.
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to visit your doctor if you experience a negative change in your body. This helps with the early detection of cancer and other types of illnesses.
Remember, preventing an illness can save lives.