New blood test holds the potential to diagnose all types of cancer

Researchers from The University of Bradford in the UK have developed a new blood test which utilises the damaging properties of UVA (Ultraviolet) light to potentially detect all types of cancer.

Early diagnosis is more difficult in certain types of cancer such as melanoma, colon cancer and lung cancer; consequently lowering the survival rates. This is usually because the symptoms themselves do not clearly show until the later stages of the disease, meaning that treatment is more often complicated and intense than if there had been a diagnosis earlier on. The new blood test could therefore prove to be an invaluable diagnostic tool if the future trials prove to be as accurate as these early results. Continue reading

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Biological signatures of mutated cells could be the key to tracing the origin of cancer in patients

A new tool, currently in development by researchers at Stanford University, can detect fatty acids produced by mutated cancer cells. These fatty acids are produced via the reassembling of glucose and glutamine that has been ingested. The metabolism of these molecules are regulated in normal cells via proto-oncogenes; genes which code for proteins that help to regulate cell growth and differentiation. Mutated proto-oncogenes are called oncogenes, and these cause an increase the amount of glucose and glutamine metabolised, and subsequently have the capability to cause cancer. Continue reading

Direct comparison of the sun’s damaging effects on skin

Although it has now been over two years since the publication of this study in the New England Journal of Medicine (April 2012) [link], the importance of its subject has no less declined. Summer is upon us once more, and it is vital to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun. This 69 year old man was a truck driver for 28 years; the left side of his face being exposed to the sun via the window and the other sheltered. The exposed side of his face aged 20 years faster than the right side as a result of no sunscreen having been applied throughout his career. The result is shocking but hopefully serves as a warning to those hesitant about wearing sun protection.