Self-test strip detects cancer

person with drop of blood on finger

We live in a world where people are becoming increasingly independent, and this even extends to our health. We monitor our own blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and buy pregnancy tests that we can do at home. Wouldn’t it be great if it was just as easy to test ourselves for diseases like cancer? It seems that this might be possible in the near future…

Researchers at the Ohio State University are developing paper strips that detect various diseases. Each strip costs just 50 cents and they are ideal for regular check-ups. The paper test was first developed as a cheap way to detect malaria in rural Africa and Southeast Asia, where hundreds of people die from the disease. The researchers found that the test results were still accurate, even one month after testing; making it a great solution for people who live further afield or for those who aren’t able to have a face to face visit with their doctor. The researchers stated in the “Journal Read more

Red hair gene also increases risk skin cancer on non-red haired people

Redheaded woman wearing a hat in the sun

New research suggests that anyone could hold the gene for red hair, which gives them, just like redheads, a greater risk of developing skin cancer.

It is commonly known that redheads have a higher risk of developing skin cancer. Their gene structure shows that the pigment production which leads to red hair, pale skin and freckles is also responsible for an increased risk of skin cancer when exposed to the sun. However, these genes are not exclusive to redheads, as it now appears that light and dark-haired or eyed people can also hold this gene, which means that they could be at risk as well. MC1R gene The MC1R gene instructs our cells to produce pigment and tan the skin, to protect it against UV-radiation when exposed Read more

New findings on breast cancer treatment spark medical debate

a pair of pink boxing gloves against a grey background

Stage 0 breast cancer, also known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is considered a very early stage of breast cancer, in which cancer cells are confined to the milk ducts only. The incidence of DCIS has seen a dramatic increase in an era when technological advances make it possible to detect abnormalities that might have gone unnoticed in the past.

The vast majority of women with Stage 0 cancers undergo either a lumpectomy (tumour removal without removing the breast) or a mastectomy (removal of the entire breast). Especially in the case of a mastectomy, surgery can have far-reaching consequences for women beyond treatment, including scarring, disfigurement and complications such as lymphedema (swelling of the lymph nodes). The scars can also be emotional and psychological, affecting a woman’s relationships and self-esteem. Finally, a woman’s working life and career prospects may be adversely affected. It is therefore not surprising that a recently published study has made headlines[i] suggesting that treatment might not have Read more