New blood test can screen for 50 types of cancer
ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - After several years of clinical trials - researchers are launching a new way to screen for more than 50 types of cancer with a simple blood test.
And since Mercy hospitals were involved in the clinical trials, the test is already available at Mercy Ardmore and Mercy Ada.
“It’s a good test,” Mohart said. “It’s not a replacement for current screening, but its a supplement for screening for so many cancers that we don’t screen for today. so as you know we only screen about 4-5 cancers in the US. but this blood test, a simple blood test screens for fifty cancers all at once.
It’s called the Multi-Cancer early Detection test, and it looks for signs of fifty types of cancer.
Doctor John Mohart, president of Mercy Communities says this blood test catches the kind of cancer that falls through the cracks-types that don’t show symptoms till it’s too late.
“Right now with cancer, sometimes we wait till we have symptoms, or have an abnormal swelling or blood test,” Mohart said. “This way we can proactively detect cancer at an earlier stage. And so with this blood test we can find cancers earlier and therefore treat them earlier.”
The test looks for signs of tumors in blood.
“This looks for circulating tumor DNA in the bloodstream,” Mohart said. “And so that can be a marker of a cancer and it can locate where it’s coming from”
Mohart said knowing where the cancer starts can mean the difference between a small operation and a chemotherapy treatment.
“There’s many cancers where we know people have cancer, but we can’t locate the primary, or figure out where it’s coming from,” Mohart said.
Nancy Dixon works for Mercy. She lost her dad to cancer when she was 14.
“He was sick about two years,” Dixon said. “And yeah, I mean it was just a really traumatic time. It’s really hard to lose your dad that young.”
She said she got the test done last week for her daughter.
“That loss was hard,” Dixon said. “She’s a little older, but just doing anything I can so that I stick around for a little while.”
You don’t have to be a Mercy patient or have a Mercy doctor to get the test done, but there are qualifications.
“Higher risk for cancer, that’s generally patients that are fifty or older with a family history,” Mohart said. “But it can apply to subgroups of patients that are at higher risk for exposure, like firefighters who have a large exposure to smoke and other toxic chemicals.”
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