The NHS are going to trial a new and simple blood test on smokers to detect lung cancer 5 years earlier than current tests.
The test will be trailed in Scotland and could lead to the first national screening campaign for lung cancer and pave the way for better detection for other cancerous tumours such as breast, colon and prostate. The University of Nottingham have already developed a version of the test for the detection of breast cancer, that could be in place by next year.
The test could completely change how cancer is detected and enable treatment to start a lot earlier, therefore increasing the chances of survival.
The test is called Early CDT and has been used in America for the last two years and in trails has been shown to be highly effective. The test works by the showing of antibodies that are made when the body’s immune system detects the early signs of lung cancer. When the results are higher than a pre-determined level, it signifies a tumour is forming. The test based on the number of antibodies has been available for many years but it’s not until now that the test had been sensitive enough.
The trail was announced by the chief medical officer for Scotland, Sir Harry Burns, and will involve 10,000 heavy smokers and will determine the cost effectiveness of the CDT screening for lung cancer. Sir Harry Burns said “the earlier a cancer is diagnosed the greater the chance it can be treated successfully, and currently 85% of patients with lung cancer remain undiagnosed until the disease has reached advanced stages.”
At the moment lung cancer is the UK’s second biggest, with around 41,000 cases per year.
The Life Dept adds: the top 5 causes of claims on critical illness cover are
Written exclusively for THE LIFE insurance DEPT | 27 Mar 2012 | providers of life insurance, critical illness insurance and income protection cover.