Simple Test Can Now Detect Bladder Cancer Ten Years Before Symptoms Appear And Save Lives

Simple Test Can Now Detect Bladder Cancer Ten Years Before Symptoms Appear And Save Lives

Bladder cancer is one of the most gruesome kinds of cancer where it not only gets detected in its last stages, the treatment process too is really uncomfortable, to say the least. And, doctors want to help cure this before the symptoms start aggravating since if detected in early stages the survival rate is 90 percent, which drops down to just 10 percent in final stages. 

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However, the only way as of now to diagnose the disease is through an invasive cystoscopy -- a procedure where a camera is sent up the bladder. What’s worse is that many only do this test when someone experiences the symptoms. 

But doctors now have come up with a revolutionary urine test that helps to detect cancer symptoms nearly 10 years before they appear.

First published in the Lancet EBioMedicine, the urine test specifically looks for gene mutations called TERT in DNA derived from the urine. Often people suffering from bladder cancer tumours have TERT present in their urine. They tested this new method involving 131 people in Iran from the age group of 40 and 75 years -- 30 of whom developed bladder cancer after a decade.

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According to the results, early detection biomarkers for bladder cancer in urine samples revealed detection in 46.7 per cent of the asymptomatic individuals who later developed bladder cancer. And this was up to 10 years before being clinically diagnosed.

Even though the patient might have to still go through a cystoscopy to confirm the findings, getting detected early can surely be helpful in saving lives at the right time. 

Dr Md Ismail Hosen, of the University of Cambridge and the IARC, said, “Our results provide the first evidence from a prospective population-based cohort study of the potential of urinary TERT promoter mutations as promising non-invasive biomarkers for the early detection of bladder cancer.”

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