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Study: Blood test may detect colon cancer

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

Recent research has led some doctors to believe that a simple blood test could soon be used to detect colon cancer, while saving healthcare costs.

During the study, a team of Belgian researchers took blood samples from 193 colon cancer patients and 688 healthy people who were having colonoscopies, and found two genes linked with malignant colorectal polyps, HealthDay News reports.

The genes, called SYNE1 and FOXE, were prevalent among the colon cancer patients who participated in the study but rare in those without the disease.

The blood test was able to accurately identify 58 percent of cancers in patients and 90 percent of healthy patients.

"If such a screening test could reduce deaths from colon cancer, it is very significant," said Dr Floriano Marchetti, director of the Colon and Rectal Surgery Residency Program at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

He added, "A noninvasive, inexpensive blood test could get more people to be screened."

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S. The organization suggests that men and women over 50 at an average risk for developing colorectal cancer should use a screening test, such as a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy.

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