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Saliva test detects prostate cancers

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 2 months ago

New research suggests that saliva tests conducted at home may be more effective at identifying men at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer compared to the standard blood test. The study, conducted by the Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, aimed to improve the early detection of the disease, which claims around 12,000 lives a year in the UK.

The at-home saliva test could potentially identify genetic factors that increase the likelihood of developing prostate cancer. This testing method is seen as a simple and cost-effective way to catch the disease earlier and potentially save lives. Consultant urologist Prof Caroline Moore emphasized the simplicity of the process, where patients receive a tube, provide a saliva sample, and send it off for analysis.

The research involved over 6,000 European men aged 55-69, a demographic with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Preliminary results from the study showed that the saliva test produced fewer false positives and detected a higher proportion of aggressive cancers compared to the standard blood test, which measures prostate-specific antigen levels.

The standard blood test for prostate cancer is not considered accurate enough and can lead to unnecessary treatments or miss men who actually have cancer. The findings of the study were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago, where experts emphasized the need for further research to confirm the effectiveness of the saliva test in saving lives.

Overall, this research highlights the potential of at-home saliva tests in improving the early detection of prostate cancer and calls for continued investigation into the best screening methods. Further studies are needed to determine the most effective testing combination, including saliva tests, PSA tests, and MRI scans, to enhance the detection and treatment of this deadly disease.

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