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Lung Cancer Test Could Be Medical Breakthrough

April 22nd, 2008 · No Comments

A simple mouth swabbing could tell medical professionals whether a patient (who is a smoker) is developing lung cancer. It may also tell us if a patient is more prone to get other smoking and tobacco-related cancers, like pancreatic, bladder, head, or neck cancer. The swab test is used to review two genes – p16 and FHIT. Damage to these two genes precedes the development of lung cancer and reflect the same damage that will eventually occur in the lungs. This minimally invasive test may replace painful, risky bronchoscopies. While smoking is a major factor in developing lung cancer, only 10% of smokers actually develop the condition.

Research is also being done to determine whether breast cancer could be predicted through the mouth swab test. Some dentists routinely perform tests for diseases to ensure optimal health for their patients. A self-contained kit created by a professor at University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 2005 to test for gum and heart disease. The test takes 15 minutes.

SOURCE: Reuters
BBC News
Science Daily

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