At the risk of offending some of the more sensitive readers out there, I think most people who have been impacted by cancer in some shape or form can agree the disease can eat several giant bags of dicks (if not more).
Cancer claims around 10 million lives per year around the world and affects countless more, and while we may be a long way from discovering a universal cure (despite the claims of some people), the medical community has made some impressively great strides in recent years.
Everyone knows that early detection is key when it comes to effectively fighting cancer but catching the disease in its infancy is easier said than done. However, it may now be easier than ever thanks to a revolutionary new breakthrough.
According to Science Daily, a group of researchers at the acclaimed Dana-Farber Cancer Institute recently conducted a study of close to 3,600 samples to examine the effectiveness of a new blood test that is able to detect more than 20 different forms of cancer with 99.4% accuracy, which is pretty damn impressive.
While traditional blood tests look for mutations in DNA, this one examines “methyl groups,” which tamper with the body’s genetic code. By analyzing certain abnormalities and tracking specific patterns, scientists were able to not just identify the presence of cancer but also the specific type.
I’m not going to pretend I know exactly what lead researcher Geoffrey Oxnard is talking about when he explains the science behind the test but here’s a more technical explanation if you’re curious:
“Our previous work indicated that methylation-based assays outperform traditional DNA-sequencing approaches to detecting multiple forms of cancer in blood samples.
The results of the new study demonstrate that such assays are a feasible way of screening people for cancer.”
It appears it will be a while until the test in question becomes widely available, but if the initial results are any indication, this could be an absolute gamechanger.