A Cleveland Clinic doctor highlights research showing how two blood tests could potentially help with early detection of lung cancer.
CLEVELAND – According to the CDC, lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States.
Now, researchers are studying a new blood test that could one day help with early detection.
“I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a couple of research studies looking at developing a blood test to help identify lung cancer before people get symptoms from it, so at an early stage when it’s easier to treat and more likely to be cured,” said Peter Mazzone, MD, pulmonologist for Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Mazzone said the studies looked at individuals with and without lung cancer, who were also eligible for lung cancer screenings.
Ultimately, they found success with two different kinds of blood tests.
Both were able to identify a majority of the lung cancer cases.
He said this is promising since current lung cancer screenings consist of a CT scan, and many people aren’t getting them done when they should.
And those that do tend not to come back for their annual scans.
He said a blood test could help solve that issue.
“Another application of a test like this could be to identify folks who aren’t currently screen eligible,” he said. “They’re not in the right age range, the right amount of smoking, but still may be at enough of a risk for developing lung cancer that screening could help them.”
Dr. Mazzone said more research needs to be done.
In the meantime, he strongly urges those who qualify for lung cancer screenings to get them done.
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