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Blood test helps detect rare lung cancer

Category: General Health

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found that a simple blood test that is currently available from most healthcare providers could help in diagnosing a certain rare form of lung cancer in women.

The test measures the level of a specific protein in the blood. After administering the blood test to a group of 195 women, researchers found that those with the particular type of lung cancer had significantly higher levels of the protein.

Frank McCormack, who led the investigation, said that lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), the cancer predicted by the protein, can be difficult to detect and causes shortness of breath collapsed lungs. Understanding this biomarker could lead to improved treatment capabilities.

"We are optimistic that [the blood test] will join the ranks of diagnostic tests for lung disease, reduce the need for surgical lung biopsy and allow for intervention and trial recruitment earlier in the disease course," he said.

LAM can be difficult to detect in early stages because its symptoms are similar to other common conditions like asthma or bronchitis. It is often misdiagnosed, which can lead to serious complications including death.
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