Researchers working on blood test to detect head and neck cancers earlier

Adelaide researchers are working on a new blood test that could help detect head and neck cancers earlier in patients.

Researchers are hoping the early detection will one day limit the need for invasive procedures for patients in what they are calling a “breakthrough in early diagnosis”.

The research is taking place at Flinders Medical Centre.

Researchers working on a blood test to detect head and neck cancers earlier. Source: 7 News.
Researchers working on a blood test to detect head and neck cancers earlier. Source: 7 News.

In the future blood samples will be taken from more than 100 patients.

Researchers will be looking for specific molecule patterns.

Sadly, head and neck cancers are the seventh most common in Australia currently.

Around 4,500 Australians are diagnosed with the disease every year.

At first, doctors thought 61-year-old Ian Bonnes had a throat infection, but it later diagnosed as cancer of the tonsils.

“It all started out with just a slight sore throat on the left-hand side, when I looked in the mirror slightly swollen,” Boones said.

The disease is often misdiagnosed as a sore throat or tonsillitis.

Researchers working on a blood test to detect head and neck cancers earlier. Source: 7 News.
Researchers working on a blood test to detect head and neck cancers earlier. Source: 7 News.

Boones was forced to endure two biopsies and a painful surgery to remove both tonsils and some lymph nodes.

“Faster assessment, less pain. Anything that can reduce the trauma is a plus,” Boones said.

Researchers have recorded seeing a rise in the epidemic of cancers in the tonsils and throat from patients who have never smoked.

News break – March 26

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