Researchers are working on blood tests to detect cancer sooner

While doctors can screen for some cancers, usually, it's only determined after symptoms appear.

There's a belief that cancer can be diagnosed, before any symptoms appear, if researchers can find traces of tumors in a single, simple blood test.

McGovern Medical School at UTHealth research scientist Dr. Melissa Aldrich said reality could be within reach in five to 10 years.

"Cancer cells will break off from an initiating tumor and leave behind their trash, and the trash will be floating around in your blood. And, that's basically what they're detecting in these blood tests," said Aldrich.

She said some cancers, like ovarian, will be easier to detect than others.

"It's exciting because it has the potential to catch cancers early and tell us which type we have. There's a long way to go, on the downside. It needs some big clinical trials and more testing ," said Aldrich.

She said personalized medicine is on its way, but there still needs to be a lot of money invested in clinical trials and testing.

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