I know that, like me, many of you look forward to colonscopies every five years, annual prostate massages, and the singular excitement of esophageal endoscopy as ways to check for early signs of cancer. That being the case, it is my sad duty to report that some researchers at the University of Bradford believe that they are well on the way to creating a new universal cancer test. The new blood test involves checking white blood cells for stress. The more stressed, the more likely the patient has cancer. As ScienceDaily reports:
The test will enable doctors to rule out cancer in patients presenting with certain symptoms, saving time and preventing costly and unnecessary invasive procedures such as colonoscopies and biopsies being carried out. Alternatively, it could be a useful aid for investigating patients who are suspected of having a cancer that is currently hard to diagnose.
Early results have shown the method gives a high degree of accuracy diagnosing cancer and pre-cancerous conditions from the blood of patients with melanoma, colon cancer and lung cancer. The research is published online in FASEB Journal, the US journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.
The Lymphocyte Genome Sensitivity (LGS) test looks at white blood cells and measures the damage caused to their DNA when subjected to different intensities of ultraviolet light (UVA), which is known to damage DNA. The results of the empirical study show a clear distinction between the damage to the white blood cells from patients with cancer, with pre-cancerous conditions and from healthy patients.
Sigh. This could be goodbye to twilight sedation.
But seriously folks, here's hoping this promising result will prove out.