Blood test could diagnose cancer
Cancer can be hard to diagnose, but researchers from the University of Bradford in the U.K. say they are developing a simple blood test that could provide early detection of cancer.
The Lymphocyte Genome Sensitivity (LGS) test, as it’s being called, analyzes the damage of white blood cells when exposed to various intensities of ultraviolet light. This tests the extent of DNA damage. Since the immune system is suppressed while fighting cancer, researchers say white blood cells from cancer patients are more easily damaged by ultraviolet light compared to noncancer patients. The researchers say they can distinguish between cancer, precancerous, and healthy cells through the LGS test.
For the study, 208 individuals provided blood samples that were coded, randomly ordered, and anonymous and these samples were subjected to ultraviolet light. When pieces of DNA gravitated toward the positive end of an electric field, forming a longer chain, it meant the DNA was more damaged. These results properly matched the 58 patients diagnosed with cancer, the 56 with a precancerous condition and 94 with no conditions.
A clinical trial is underway to test the effectiveness of the LGS test in colorectal cancer patients. In the future this blood test could replace more invasive cancer screening procedures. It could also help diagnose cancers that are hard to detect early, such as melanoma, colon cancer and lung cancer.
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Sourced from: medicalnewstoday.com, Could a ‘universal’ blood test for cancer be on the horizon?
Published On: July 29, 2014
Short jogs linked to lower heart disease risk
Running, in any form, is good for you. Even a light jog can help lower heart disease and cardiovascular risk, according to a new study from Iowa State University published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
More than 55,000 healthy adults ages 18 to 100 participated in a university study by answering a series of questions regarding exercise habits over the previous three months. The questions covered speed, duration and frequency.
For people who did run, they were categorized into five groups based on frequency. The participants were followed for 15 years by the researchers using medical records. Around 3,400 participants died during that time, with 1,200 dying from cardiovascular complications.
Overall, runners were 30 percent less likely to die during the study period and 45 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease compared to people who did not run at all. This proved to be true even for people who ran for less than an hour or less than six miles per week. Runners increased their life expectancy by three years, on average, compared to non-runners and exhibited better health regardless of age, gender, smoking or weight.
These results are encouraging for people who hit the pavement and suggest that a person doesn’t have to run at great speed or for long distances to help their health.
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Sourced from: reuters.com, Short jogs linked to lower risk of death from heart disease
Published On: July 29, 2014