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Most cancer related deaths are due to metastasis, malignant cells that penetrate into the circulatory system and establish colonies in other parts of the body. Great advancements have been made but cancer is still leading cause of death for people under 85. To negate this scenario, a new research reveals that detection of cancer is now possible, way ahead in time (13 years) before acquiring the disease. Here are 10 foods that can protect you from cancer. Also Read - Can cancer be detected years before symptoms manifest?
According to The Telegraph, Harvard and Northwestern University discovered that tiny but significant changes are already happening in the body more than a decade before cancer is diagnosed. They found that the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes, which prevent DNA damage, had significantly more wear and tear in people who went on to develop cancer. In fact, they looked like they belonged to a person who was 15 years older. Those caps, known as telomeres, were much shorter than they should be and continued to get shorter until around four years before the cancer developed, when they suddenly stopped shrinking. All the people with the changes went on to develop cancer. Large, painless & persistently swollen lymph nodes indicate cancer.
Understanding this pattern of telomere growth may mean it can be a predictive biomarker for cancer, said Dr. Lifang Hou, the lead study author and a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Because we saw a strong relationship in the pattern across a wide variety of cancers, with the right testing these procedures could be used to eventually diagnose a wide variety of cancers.
How will the test affect insurance premiums?
While the research can help people detect the chances and make lifestyle changes to lower their risk of cancer, insurance companies warned that such a test could push up policy premiums. Planning to get a health insurance? 10 tips to make this easier for you.
If this test showed 100 per cent probability over a certain number of years then it could affect premiums. It would be the equivalent of living in a high theft area for someone looking for home insurance, Matt Sanders, in charge of protection insurance products at GoCompare, said. Premiums could rise to a point where some people would simply be priced out. However if it was shown that diagnosing earlier could prevent cancer, then that could bring down premiums.
In the new study, scientists took multiple measurements of telomeres over a 13-year period in 792 persons, 135 of whom were eventually diagnosed with different types of cancer, including prostate, skin, lung and leukaemia. Initially, scientists discovered telomeres aged much faster, indicated by a more rapid loss of length, in individuals who were developing but not yet diagnosed with cancer. We found cancer has hijacked the telomere shortening in order to flourish in the body, added Dr Hou.
The research was published in the online journal Ebiomedicine.
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Published : May 1, 2015 9:19 pm | Updated:May 1, 2015 9:22 pm