Cancer detect: How well screening and blood tests are really

A new blood test for breast cancer could replace mammogram, other Tests want to discover in the blood of several types of cancer in the early stages. Reliable of these methods is not yet for the early detection of cancer in the blood. Error-free also the classics of the cancer screening but are not. An Overview.

The cure rate in cancer depends to a large part of it, in what stage it is discovered or can be discovered. So, pancreatic cancer ends about so often fatal, because there is no early detection method.

Colorectal cancer can be stopped, however, even before the outbreak, because there is a screening already discovered the precursors of malignant tumours.

The Pension classic is for you and Him

So far, there are only a few types of cancer Prevention and early detection programs. They are recommended from a certain age and at regular intervals to all women and men.

At-risk patients, for example, a familial or hereditary form of cancer, the examinations more frequent and start earlier. A certain cancer in a family is more common, may not be precautionary investigations also advisable, if it falls in the early detection catalogue.

Breast cancer

  • annual palpation examination by a gynecologist from 30
  • mammography every two years between 50 and 70

Cervical cancer

  • Annual gynecological examination, PAP smear, Pap Test starting at 20

Skin cancer

  • every two years, a full-body Check starting at 35 for women and men

Colorectal cancer

  • Annual digital examination and stool test to be between 50 and 55 for women and men
  • Every two years, the stool test from 55 for women and men or
  • Colonoscopy aged 55 and over with repetition after ten years, for women and men

Prostate cancer

  • Annual palpation examination at the family doctor or urologist from the age of 45

Accompanying examinations, such as an ultrasound of the female reproductive organs or the PSA Test for men “IGeL services”, which are often recommended and pay for it himself.

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Blood tests for cancer – a gentle, earlier, more comprehensive

Because the treatment of early-stage cancer is so successful today, the work of cancer researchers around the world on methods to detect tumors early. Information you are looking for in the blood. There cancer of the swim sections, cells, or their genetic make-up, long before a disease shows and long before she finds the classic early detection.

The search of cancer markers in the blood is referred to as a Liquid Biopsy. For cancer doctors, it is a method that is supposed to detect the tumor’s existence, but the tumor activity.

The allure of a Cancer can be demonstrated in the blood is obvious:

  • Blood biomarkers would allow for any type of cancer be detected. The classic methods of early detection, there are only a few types of cancer.
  • A blood sample is quickly taken, and a simple investigation of the medium. For patients a prick in the vein is more pleasant than a bowel examination or x-ray of the breast.
  • For sensitive laboratory analyses small traces of the cancer marker sufficient. A tumor could, therefore in a very early stage to discover.
  • And, not unimportant: For the developer of a viable blood test for cancer detection is a huge business.

And so we read, for many years, regularly headlines such as “blood test detecting cancer at an early stage”. Most recently, a blood promised to be able to test by researchers from Heidelberg, breast cancer, as well as a mammogram to discover only earlier.

Heidelberg “HeiScreen” is as accurate as mammography

The scientists Christof Sohn, medical Director of the Heidelberg University women’s hospital have identified 15 biomarkers, i.e., messengers typical of cancer cells for indications in various combination on breast cancer. The patented “HeiScreen”-Test discovered the disease in 75 out of 100 women, which corresponds approximately to the mammography.

Is patients intended primarily for younger high-risk. For younger women, for whom breast imaging is often difficult, is the accuracy even in the case of 86 percent. Also in the case of ovarian cancer, for which there is no early detection, have reached the Heidelberg, a hit rate of 80 percent.

Critics complain that the Test is in front of the press presented to the representatives and the market launch of the “Heiscreen” was announced for the end of 2019, before the studies were published. It also remains unclear what the costs are and who should wear it.

Many cancer blood tests never make it into practice

Unlike “Haiscreen” many of the headline-grabbing research approaches to cancer detection in the blood never leaves the lab. In the Preventive practice, none /hardly any arrive yet. In the best case, run clinical trials and approval procedures.

The project “Cancerseek”. Beginning in 2018, researchers from the Kimmel cancer Institute in Baltimore, a blood test for eight types of cancer: ovarian cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer. The average prediction accuracy of 70 percent has fluctuated but strong and was calculated when tumors in the early stage, the actual target group, less than 50 percent. The targeted $ 500 per Test will pay for it no one.

Also in 2018, researchers from the cancer Institute of the Cleveland Clinic came up with a blood test, which will discover ten different types of cancer. Also he is still not to the Standard of the diagnosis of cancer alone because the accuracy varies very much: it was for ovarian cancer in 90 percent, for colorectal cancer, but only at 66 per cent, and for breast cancer even only at 58 percent.

Cancer detection in blood has proven itself in the therapy

The Liquid Biopsy is not perhaps a long as a Screening method to be relevant, but it has already its place in cancer therapy: From the blood filtered of cancer cells and tumor genome information on the effectiveness of a therapy – gentler than a tissue biopsy and faster than any Scan. Doctors see in the blood samples, if metastases form, or a Patient suffers a relapse. The analysis of the blood-floating tumor cells allows a therapy adjustment and improvement.