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Blood test, nose swab accurately detect ovarian, lung cancers


blood test

A blood test every four months could help spot ovarian cancer in women who are highly susceptible to the disease, researchers say.

A study led by University College London shows testing these women every four months is a safe way of catching cancer early.

Researchers stressed surgery is the safest option, but found a blood test for protein CA 125 spots nine in ten cases before the cancer spreads.


The study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology tested 4,000 women with more than a 10 per cent risk.

Researcher Dr. Adam Rosenthal said: “The screening appears to be very effective at detecting ovarian cancer before it causes symptoms.

“The proportion of women who had all their tumours removed was very high, which is important in terms of predicting a better outcome.”

Also, scientists claim a simple and cheap nose swab could soon detect lung cancer in smokers.

Smoking damages the cells in the lining of the nostrils involved in smell, research shows. Detecting these changes can accurately predict whether the patients have tumours without having to perform a biopsy.

There are usually no signs or symptoms in the early stages of lung cancer, according to experts.

But many people with the condition eventually develop symptoms including a persistent cough. While coughing up blood, persistent breathlessness and unexplained tiredness are other signs.

Those suspected of having it are given a chest x-ray and then scans – but these are unable to differentiate between benign and malignant lesions.

Those believed to be at risk then have to undergo an invasive bronchoscopy to take a tissue sample.

This is where a tube is inserted through the mouth or nose, down the throat and into the airways of the lungs.

Or they may have other types of biopsy.

But Boston University School of Medicine researchers found a biomarker in the nasal passages can determine the likelihood of a lung lesion being malignant.

The simple swab of their nose can determine if they have the disease sparing them from costly and risky procedures.

The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, analysed nasal epithelial brushings from current and former smokers.

They were undergoing diagnostic evaluation for pulmonary lesions suspicious for lung cancer. The epithelial tissue inside the nasal cavity is involved in smell.

It then determined that the nasal airway epithelial field of lung cancer-associated injury in smokers extends to the nose.

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