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Medicine

Experimental Spit Test Could Identify Men Most At Risk of Prostate Cancer (gizmodo.com) 58

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: A test developed by scientists in the U.K. and U.S. might someday be able to pinpoint the men most likely to get prostate cancer. A new study published Monday in Nature Genetics suggests the test can detect the one percent of men who are genetically most vulnerable to developing prostate cancer, a leading cause of cancer deaths among American men. The international research team used a new DNA analysis technique to peer into the genes of more than 70,000 people enrolled in previous studies. Some 45,000 of the subjects had already developed prostate cancer, while 25,000 hadn't. So the researchers compared the two groups, singling out any inherited genetic variations that might have contributed to their cancer risk. According to the authors, they managed to find 63 new variants never before associated with prostate cancer.

These results were then integrated with nearly a hundred genetic variants linked to prostate cancer previously found among 60,000 people to create a total genetic risk score. And finally, the researchers devised a test that uses a person's saliva to detect these more than 150 variants. In the U.S., people over the age of 50 are generally screened for prostate cancer via the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Those with a certain high level of PSA should be screened annually, while everyone else is advised to be screened every two years. But the saliva test could reveal especially high-risk people who need annual screening regardless of their PSA level, while ruling out low-risk people who don't need annual screening based on their genetic risk and PSA scores. Those people would only need screenings every two, five, and maybe even 10 years.

Experimental Spit Test Could Identify Men Most At Risk of Prostate Cancer

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  • A simple spit test can determine your HLA markers and all sorts of stuff. The fact that you can also test for genetic vulnerabilities is pretty mundane. The consumer genetic testing services already do a great deal of this including much more obscure stuff.

    This isn't news. This is the dull side of a butter knife.

  • Experimental spit test identifies men that just gave me a blow job.
  • You're going to get it. So what good is a test if it can't tell you if you're going to get it early on?

    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      You're going to get it. So what good is a test if it can't tell you if you're going to get it early on?

      It's good for those selling expensive MRI tests or $60,000/year cancer medication that makes minimal difference in longevity but often a severely degraded life quality. Incidentally, the same that fund studies like these...

    • I'm sure there are some bad oncologists in the world, but: 1) everyone gets cancer if they live long enough and 2) the most common response to a condition like this coming up is to keep watching it. Not to treat it. If I had this, I'd want imaging once in a while just to make sure it wasn't becoming a problem.
  • by rickb928 ( 945187 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2018 @10:26AM (#56771670) Homepage Journal

    'people over the age of 50 are generally screened for prostate cancer'

    Are we so PC that we can't specify the gender that actually has prostate glands, but have to be inclusive and all, and avoid excluding those genders that do not?

  • OP says " one percent of men ..., a leading cause of cancer deaths"

    So the 1% is a "leading" cause?! What about the 99%?

  • That specific cancer has mostly 2 variants, the one that kills you quickly, no matter how many dangerous operations you do and one that won't be a problem, since it grows so slowly that you can ignore it, because you'll be dead from old age before it can possibly kill you.

    But nonetheless, the medical industry wants to radiate, operate and make you piss your pants the rest of your life.

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