DO I HAVE CAN­CER?

MOST CAN­CERS CAN BE CURED IF CAUGHT EARLY. THE NEW PRE­DIC­TIVE TESTS THAT CAN STOP CAN­CER BE­FORE IT STARTS

India Today - - CANCER -

PER­SONAL GE­NOMICS TEST

Ever since Hol­ly­wood star An­gelina Jolie had pre­ven­tive dou­ble mas­tec­tomy in 2013, rad­i­cal new ge­netic man­age­ment of the dis­ease— even be­fore the can­cer strikes—is catch­ing on: it in­cludes ge­netic coun­selling, test­ing, screen­ing, chemo-pre­ven­tion, pre­ven­tive surgery and ag­gres­sive lifestyle mod­i­fi­ca­tions. Per­sonal ge­nomic ser­vice providers are com­ing up, while star hos­pi­tals are ex­pand­ing their can­cer­care pack­ages to in­clude fa­mil­ial can­cer clin­ics. The fo­cus is on check­ing SNPs (pro­nounced Snip, mean­ing sin­gle nu­cleo­tide poly­mor­phisms) in your genes, that in­di­cate small ge­netic changes, ‘faulty’ genes and risk of can­cers, hered­i­tary and oth­er­wise.

DNA TEST

Any trace of tu­mour DNA in blood in­di­cates can­cer. Johns Hop­kins re­searchers are work­ing on a gen­eral screen­ing tool that could be used to find molec­u­lar traces of can­cer even in peo­ple who show no symp­toms. It may be­come as rou­tine as an an­nual phys­i­cal.

BLOOD TEST

Bio-en­gi­neers at Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia have come up with a new blood test that can de­tect tu­mour DNA in blood and its lo­ca­tion. Can­cer cells com­pete with nor­mal cells for food and space, killing them off. As nor­mal cells die, they re­lease their DNA into the blood­stream, which can be used to iden­tify the af­fected tis­sue.

BREATH TEST

Is­raeli sci­en­tists have de­vel­oped a new, in­ex­pen­sive tech­nol­ogy to de­tect gas­tric can­cers early by analysing five sig­na­ture chem­i­cals that in­di­cate can­cer in ex­haled breath.

PA­PER TESTS

A cheap urine test on nanopar­ti­cle-coated pa­per from MIT en­gi­neers works like a preg­nancy test. Can re­veal in min­utes whether a per­son has can­cer.

YO­GHURT TEST

Again from MIT, yo­ghurt en­gi­neered with syn­thetic mol­e­cules. When in­tro­duced into the body, it in­ter­acts with can­cer cells and can be de­tected when passed in urine (es­pe­cially for col­orec­tal can­cer)

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