Researchers in France have shown that it is possible to detect early signs of lung cancer in people at risk of the disease via a blood test.
The study, published in the journal, PLOS ONE, focused on a blood test which picks up on tumour cells in the bloodstream. The test could detect lung cancer at a much earlier stage than it would be picked up using a standard imaging test.
The research involved 245 people without cancer, 168 of which were at a higher risk of developing lung cancer due to having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Each participant underwent both the blood test and a standard CT scan for lung cancer. The blood test found cancer cells in five of the participants, whereas the CT scan did not detect any signs of cancer at this stage in this group of people. In this group, it took between one and four years for the lung cancer to be detected by a CT scan.
The researchers believe that this blood test could help to diagnose people with lung cancer much earlier, enabling early treatment and improving survival rates.
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