Breakthrough fingertip sweat test done from home could replace painful breast cancer tests
Groundbreaking fingertip sweat tests done at home could replace painful breast cancer tests, a new study suggests.
Professor Simona Francese discovered that the sweat on a person’s finger can allow scientists to detect the presence of breast cancer with a 98 percent accuracy due to the protein it contains.
For the past 15 years, the expert has been working with the police on a method to collect information from fingerprints left at crime scenes, and in the process discovered the cancer detection technique.
Based on a study of 15 women, they found that the simple method could identify the disease and its severity, and the person only had to smear their fingertips on a sample disk.
A team of researchers from Sheffield Hallam University, working with Professor Francese, concluded that the procedure could replace mammograms over time once they are brought to larger studies.
Professor Simona Francese (pictured) discovered that the sweat on a person’s finger can allow scientists to detect the presence of breast cancer with an accuracy of 98 percent
Currently, during a mammogram, a technician positions a person’s breast between two sheets of plastic and presses the sheets together to take an X-ray.
The NHS warns that breast screening is often uncomfortable and sometimes painful for some people.
Compressions take seconds and the appointment itself usually takes around 20 minutes.
The new method offers patients the opportunity to take tests from the comfort of their own homes, rather than traveling to a hospital and taking the painful tests.
A sample aluminum collector’s plate can be sent out to people every few years.
Professor Francese told the Sunday Times: “When looking at molecules that tell us the sex of the person, we came across some molecules – small proteins and peptides – that are also indicated as potential biomarkers for breast cancer.”
The method works by spraying a person’s fingerprint with a chemical coating and placing it in a mass spectrometer – where the sweat sample is converted to gas using a powerful laser.
Once that’s done, scientists can assess the different proteins, resulting in a molecular profile that provides an accurate marker for breast cancer.
The researchers concluded that the procedure could replace mammograms over time once they are taken to larger studies
Of the 15 women who took part in the study, five had benign, noncancerous lumps, five had early-stage breast cancer, and another five had metastatic breast cancer that had spread throughout the body.
Professor Lynda Wyld, Lecturer at Sheffield University and Cancer Surgeon at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, who also worked on the study, said: ‘But the data we have so far is very encouraging. If it’s validated and shown to work in further studies, it has tremendous potential.”
Her team is also working to see if the same technique could be used for other cancer variants — including prostate cancer, according to the study, which was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The NHS recently revealed that in England last year just 1.97 million women aged 50 to 70 (62.3 per cent) attended screening appointments within six months of being invited, of the 3.17 million who were encouraged to book an investigation.
The UK’s breast screening program currently has the longest gaps between screenings in the world.
Professor Francese’s team (pictured) is also working to see if the same technique could be used for other cancer variants
Dame Lesley, who is also a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Imperial College London, claimed the decision to give women a mammogram every three years was based on the budgets available when screening was introduced in the late 1980s.
However, recent studies showed that annual check-ups would save lives because early-onset or pre-cancerous lesions that can be detected by screening are curable.
Around 55,000 women and 370 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK each year, according to Breast Cancer Now.
Screening can help catch breast cancer early, when it’s too small to see or feel, and is essential for those who meet the test criteria.
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/pioneering-fingertip-sweat-test-done-from-home-could-replace-painful-breast-cancer-tests/ Breakthrough fingertip sweat test done from home could replace painful breast cancer tests