New blood test can screen for more than 50 different cancers

person receiving a blood test
Photo credit Getty Images

There's a new way to screen for more than 50 different cancers with just a simple blood test.

Dr. John Mohart of Mercy Hospital told KMOX that the test is "the future of medicine," as it's able to more proactively find cancers.

"Earlier detection leads to better treatment and better outcomes for patients," Mohart said.

So how does it work?

"So, it is a simple blood test, like you would go and give blood to tubes of blood, and then it's specially processed," Mohart said. "So not every lab can perform it. And then that blood is analyzed for tumor DNA or cancer DNA. It takes about two weeks to get the results once you give the blood."

Most tests in the U.S. can only screen for about four or five cancers, and they each require an individual screening. But, as Mohart pointed out, there are more than 100 different types of cancers.

"So this blood test doesn't replace the standard screening that's required. But it's a supplement," he said. "So it detects over 50 different cancers, and especially those hard to find ones like the deep seated ones like pancreatic and ovarian and esophageal, those are very difficult to find."

He adds that now, we wait to test until someone has symptoms. This allows doctors to speed up the process. Plus, for groups of people that might be more predisposed to certain cancers -- like firefighters or people with familial histories of cancer.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images