DO I HAVE CANCER?
MOST CANCERS CAN BE CURED IF CAUGHT EARLY. THE NEW PREDICTIVE TESTS THAT CAN STOP CANCER BEFORE IT STARTS
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.
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.
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.
Israeli scientists have developed a new, inexpensive technology to detect gastric cancers early by analysing five signature chemicals that indicate cancer in exhaled breath.
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.
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)