New Blood Test Screens
For Lung Cancer Before X-rays can Detect it - Non-Small Cell Most Common
Diagnosed Lung Cancer
July 16th 2006
A new blood test can detect non-small cell lung cancer long before it
can be detected by an X-ray or computed tomography (CT) scans. When
tested on people being treated for lung cancer, they have been
successful in positively identifying 90 percent of cases. There have
been very few false positive cases when samples were taken from people
who did not have cancer.
Early detection of non-small cell lung cancer is important because the
average five-year survival rate of only 40 per cent. Early detection
may save lives. This is the first new cancer blood screening test since
the development of the prostate cancer PSA screening test.
The test works by identifying the bodies own immune response to the
cancer. This can take place long before the tumor is large enough to be
detected by CT or X-ray. The authors wrote “Based on doubling times, a
lung cancer can be present three to five years before reaching the
conventional size limits of radiographic detection."