Doc Talk | Study to detect cancer early

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With cancer impacting so many lives, a local professor is conducting a study to try to detect it early, before it develops to a higher stage.

"If we catch cancer really early our chances of successfully treating it are very high," said Professor Andrew Faucett, who heads the detect study at Geisinger Holy Spirit.

This could change lives giving more time to defeat a disease that defeats many. It all begins with DNA.

"So what we are looking for are pieces of DNA in the bloodstream that are coming from a tumor," explained Faucett.

That tumor would normally be too small to detect.

"We wouldn't expect you to have any physical symptoms or signs your not feeling like there's anything going on," said Faucett. "There's a small chance that we might detect a cancer that you're having and result in better care for you."

Faucett says the initial study is recruiting ten thousand individuals who are women between the ages of 65 and 75: "Two reasons for that, one is that we often have more radical records on women, the second is that's an age in which their more likely to have cancer and women have more types of cancers. It gives us more options to potentially catch a cancer early that can be prevented"

Just like mammograms or colonoscopies, this study could be another test saving lives.

"The real reason to do detect is help medicine in general, if this test works then it would be something we could offer individuals detect cancer early," said Faucett.

In order to participate in the detect study, you cannot have a history of cancer, with exception of some minor skin cancers.

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