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A Blood Test That Screens For Cancer

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the it's-in-the-blood dept.

Medicine 71

sciencehabit writes "People usually find out that they have cancer after developing symptoms or through a screening test such as a mammogram—signs that may appear only after the cancer has grown or spread so much that it can't be cured. But what if you could find out from a simple, highly accurate blood test that you had an incipient tumor? By sequencing the abnormal DNA that a tumor releases into a person's bloodstream, researchers are now one step closer to a universal cancer test. Although the technique is now only sensitive enough to detect advanced cancers, that may be a matter of money: As sequencing costs decrease, the developers of the method say the test could eventually pick up early tumors as well."

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Nobel prize (5, Insightful)

mmHg760 (2780437) | about 2 years ago | (#42139563)

If it works with early forms of cancer, this is nobel prize material.

Re:Nobel prize (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42140203)

We may find out that our bodies spontaneously develop and recover from cancers all the time.

Re:Nobel prize (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42145261)

Using the scientific definition of cancer cells we already know this is true. Immunosurvelliance leads often leads to the rapid removal of neoplastic growths. Though, a large percentage of those growths probably aren't releasing significant numbers of cells into the blood stream.

Re:Nobel prize (5, Interesting)

paiute (550198) | about 2 years ago | (#42140387)

Hold the phone, there, Alfred. You have to think about how early you want to be able to find mutating cells. There is a sweet spot of detection - when the cancer is not yet so advanced that it can be treated - below which you may want to think twice about going. If this research results in the ability to detect cells as soon as they mutate, you and the media may think this is a great advance, but the body's immune system is able to sense and kill the vast majority of mutating cells before they grow into a tumor. At a certain detection level, the test is going to give positive results for "cancer" for most people. Then what do you do? You go to the doctor and the doctor tells you that you have malignant cells in your body. Are you going to not worry or are you going to demand treatment?

Re:Nobel prize (3, Informative)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 2 years ago | (#42140687)

Even better, the false positive rate is important. Regular testing for ovarian cancer in women is something you simply should not do; an ovarian cancer test should only be done if your doctor thinks you have ovarian cancer. Because of the rate of false positives, the rate of false positives in follow-up tests, the rate of complications, and the rate of death in complications, it turns out that roughly 1 in 1000 women who don't get regular testing would die of ovarian cancer, whereas if every woman over age 50 got regular ovarian cancer testing once a year we'd see a death rate of 3 in 1000 due to complications from unnecessary surgery to treat the non-existent cancer in false-positive cases.

If this leads to people looking for cancer that doesn't exist or isn't important, a lot of false positives will start occurring. Even if it's highly accurate at detecting cancer, it won't tell you anything about the cancer. Now you have to look for it. So many cancer tests, so much false positive... you might find several cancers that don't actually exist, because the tests raise false positives occasionally and you're running tests for everything. False positives lead to unnecessary treatment, which is expensive and harmful. You're better off playing cancer roulette.

Re:Nobel prize (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42142867)

Doctors would monitor the levels. If the levels were slowly and consistently rising, that would be something to worry about. If the levels varied within a particular range that would be considered normal. Existing blood tests measure things like glucose levels, proteins, white blood cell count. The latter one is used to test for infection.

Re:Nobel prize (1)

rs79 (71822) | about 2 years ago | (#42146379)

Why? This isn't hard, if gene P53 is inactive, you gonna die.

This is only a revelation if you don't read about this stuff.

How much money...? (2)

Reprint001 (1838702) | about 2 years ago | (#42139571)

So the logical question is... just how much money is required to change this sentence "This is an exploding field." He thinks such tests could reach the clinic within 5 to 10 years. " to read ".... within 1 to 2 years"?

Re:How much money...? (4, Funny)

gagol (583737) | about 2 years ago | (#42139609)

The researchers should pitch the project to hypochondriac billionaires.

Re:How much money...? (1)

Coisiche (2000870) | about 2 years ago | (#42139655)

If they can push past the Big Pharma sales reps already surrounding them.

Re:How much money...? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 2 years ago | (#42139881)

Actually tests like this(not sure if its the same one or not) was something that really excited Steve Jobs towards the end(and something that supposedly his son was researching). He seems to have thought that sequencing is the next big tech boom, and paid a lot of money to have his own cancer sequenced.... So there was at least one billionaire interested in it.

Re:How much money...? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 2 years ago | (#42140527)

And that's the key. There are billionaires, and they have families, and they can and want to be able to have this. I see no reason to not give billionaires first place in the extremely expensive treatment world and make and design things for the to spend a fortune on. The funding will benefit others. Its maths - If you have 5 billion and treatment costs 1 billion you still have. ... erm .. no don't tell me .. 5-1= erm.. Oh yeah, A fuck ton of cash left over. I've no idea why Apple isn't a player the cancer tech business given the kudos that would have. Even a apple logo on an MRI machine would look cool. (stupid idea really - sorry.)

Re:How much money...? (1)

almitydave (2452422) | about 2 years ago | (#42142945)

I want to see the Apple marketing campaign for their own brand of fMRIs. "We know exactly what you need."

Every cancer is different (4, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 2 years ago | (#42139613)

The reason it's so hard to treat and there are so many treatments is that each and every cancer has it's own unique fingerprint in terms of how it works, what it responds to.

It would be nice but I can't see any one test being able to identify all possibilities any time soon. As the article says, it's a step.

Re:Every cancer is different (2)

mmHg760 (2780437) | about 2 years ago | (#42139651)

Maybe calibrating the test with a statistical deviation tolerance from the host DNA can be used to identify it ?

Re:Every cancer is different (1)

MurukeshM (1901690) | about 2 years ago | (#42140311)

What about mosaics, or chimeras.. (or whatever the term is)?

Re:Every cancer is different (3, Interesting)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 2 years ago | (#42139653)

The methodology seems to account for the many types of cancer, at least in theory, since it's based on finding differences in DNA sequences. As long as a fingerprint exists wouldn't this technique find it?

But this also sounds very preliminary. The sample size was very small and it took a month to get the results.

Re:Every cancer is different (5, Interesting)

phayes (202222) | about 2 years ago | (#42139759)

I'm not sure that scanning for genetic changes will turn out to be useful.

Not every genetic change results in cancer as many will result in the cells dying off or being innocuous. Working on bringing the detection threshold down to low enough values to detect small tumours may just end up detecting many small cancers.

In addition, recent work shows that many small cancers are not as problematic as as long been thought. We now know that the body naturally wipes out many cancers without help. Detecting the small cancers that need treatment is much harder than it appears.

Re:Every cancer is different (4, Informative)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 2 years ago | (#42140301)

may just end up detecting many small cancers

Exactly. ISTR reading that at any one time, most people have dozens of small 'cancers' but in most cases, the body destroys them before they get a hold. It's only when our own defences fail that the cancer goes on to become a 'proper' one and become a health hazard.

Re:Every cancer is different (3, Insightful)

kkwst2 (992504) | about 2 years ago | (#42140871)

I really think you guys are worried about the wrong end of this. It is highly unlikely that this test is going to be too sensitive any time soon...quite the opposite, the key will be making it sensitive enough to be useful. One or a few cells aren't going to make enough DNA that you would have any reasonable chance of picking it up in a random blood sample. There would have to be some critical mass there already, and who knows, but I would guess that the amount of DNA released into the blood by even an in situ is going to be too small to detect.

It is true that cells mutate fairly frequently, but most of these are not "cancer". Cancer implies that it grows invasively. These sequencing tests would be looking for certain genes known to be linked with cancer. Perhaps over time they will develop heuristics that will allow for detection of mutations not previously characterized but initially it would probably be limited to cancer genes already understood. But my initial concern is whether early cancers dump enough genetic material into the blood for this to be useful for early detection. I'll bet that it is only after it becomes invasive that it releases enough DNA to detect.

Re:Every cancer is different (1)

phayes (202222) | about 2 years ago | (#42143149)

You appear to have missed my point. It is now known to be normal for people to have cancer cells. These small cancers are normally caught by the immune system & eliminated so trying to treat every cancer has been shown to be counter-productive (chemo is poison that just kills the cancer faster than it kills you, radiation has side-effects & surgery has it's own issues). The old objective from decades ago of finding the cancer while it is small & easily treated has disappeared. What we now know that we need is a means of distinguishing those cancers that will not be eliminated normally from those that won't.

I saw no mention of this in TFA which make me think that even if the researchers make their test sensitive enough to detect small cancers that the test will have too many "false positives" (cancers that the body would eliminate anyway) to be useful.

Re:Every cancer is different (1)

kkwst2 (992504) | about a year and a half ago | (#42242799)

[I missed this and it is now old, but I'll respond anyway.] Actually, I completely got your point and tried to explain that you are confusing a mutation with cancer. Two points.
1. A single/few cell mutation that is destroyed is not cancer. By definition, cancer is an uncontrolled, invasive growth. If it is controlled right away, it isn't cancer.
2. I am saying that the technique would not detect these single cell mutations because the amount of DNA they would release into the blood would be minimal and the likelihood to detect in a random blood sample infinitesimally small. That is not a concern. The real concern is whether it can detect cancer early enough. Early cancer does not release as much DNA into the bloodstream as later, more invasive cancers. One would ideally like to detect it before it has spread all over the place, and it isn't necessarily clear that this technique will do that.

Re:Every cancer is different (1)

phayes (202222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42245039)

Ah, I see where you misunderstood me. The small cancers that I talked about originally are much more than just single cell mutations. The study I read said that when Breast cancer detection got down to around 1mm that many of the growths were spontaneously being suppressed in the control groups. Statistical verification through biopsies in other groups proved that many of these small growths were indeed cancers. The fact that in many cases the growths disappear without treatment shows that the hosts immune systems sometimes successfully recognize them as problems & eliminates them. The reason why some cancers often grow to a certain size before being eliminated by the immune system (& others don't) is a question that is currently a hot research topic.

Thus my original point: Moving the detection size down through TFA's method runs the risk of detecting cancers that the body will eliminate anyway, so just detecting small cancers is insufficient. We need a means of detecting the small cancers that the immune system will not recognize.

Re:Every cancer is different (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 2 years ago | (#42140717)

The problem with scanning for genetic change is some of us are variatic in nature. Human genetic physiology is interesting.. .human cellular proteins include receptors that allow for stress signals to encode useful genetic changes. In response to environmental pressure, humans are actually capable of rewriting their own DNA to adapt. Pretty much any animal immune system--including the human immune system itself--functions similarly, but internally: T4 cells sample a pathogen and then modify their own DNA to recognize it, while passing that information to other cells which modify their DNA to produce things like antibodies.

Re:Every cancer is different (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#42139731)

Maybe not one size fits all tests, but what I could very well see is a screening that nets a "certainly no" and "maybe" as results, with "maybe" being subject to further testing.

Re:Every cancer is different (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 years ago | (#42139917)

Just throw enough data at an algorithm and it'll learn. There are only so many ways a DNA mutation can lead to unrestrained growth - even if there thousands of such mutations, eventually you should be able to pick up most of them. If you can detect 99% of all cancer patients, you have an essentially perfect solution.

Good enough for ArOOO??? maybe (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#42140943)

its like trying to do a Spam Filter

if you get X "hits" it might be spam/cancer if you get Y hits you do more traditional tests if you get Z hits its time to book the MRI for a Scan.

So Over reporting is not a problem its UNDER reporting they need to watch out for.

Reverse not Cure. (1)

Runelaron (962762) | about 2 years ago | (#42139857)

The problem with this is its still just a preventative measure. While its great if they can accomplish this as it will save many live, it does not stop the fact that they might still get more recurring cancer. Coming from a friend of an Hematologist oncologist (blood cancer doctor), he stated to me once that the doctors aren't so much trying to prevent cancer but more of trying to treat it. And even so they are very much in the dark because cancer is a mutated cell linked to the host its in. So as you go from person to person its different every time. The link should be what prevents cancer, but until they change their way of thinking most doctors are chasing dog tails.

Re:Reverse not Cure. (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42140809)

Likely the only thing that is going to prevent cancer is the death of the organism. With enough basic research it might be possible to find a single or at least a small number, of molecular mechanisms that trigger abnormal cell growth. Then again, it might not. Even if you find them, it doesn't mean you can interrupt or modify them on an organismal level.

So doctors do what they CAN do. And cancer treatments are certainly better than before - less toxic, more effective. But we don't know enough cell and molecular biology to even state that there is a small number of mechanisms that cause cancer. It might be thousands.

You have cancer, we just can't find where it is (2)

justcauseisjustthat (1150803) | about 2 years ago | (#42139927)

I hope they develop better ways of locating the cancer in the body as well, otherwise it will be just like it is now. Dear Sir/Madam your tumor marker has shot up 10x, but we can't find where it's spread, so sorry.

Most interesting cancer treatment research to me:
- Dichloroacetic acid (it's as close to free as possible and has known side effects and is available some places now) but seems to work best in combination with chemo
- anti-CD47 (has the potential to treat numerous cancers, but it's early)

Your headline is too true (4, Insightful)

sirwired (27582) | about 2 years ago | (#42140131)

Your headline is more true than you realize... although you don't realize it.

Something like 2/3rds of the population that we would consider to die of "old age" (generally defined as dying of a condition that predominately kills the elderly, and doing so at around, or greater, than the average lifespan for a developed country), have been discovered, upon death, to have cancer of some sort, but cancer that did NOT contribute to their death. IIRC, the most "popular" are Prostate, Breast, and Brain tumors. Some of those tumors may have been decades old, but slow-growing and non-aggressive enough to simply not be an issue.

Not all cancer is worth detecting if it's almost inevitable that you'll die from simply "wearing out" first.

Re:You have cancer, we just can't find where it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42140137)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7N0i7_It9o

There's a lot that can be determined from a blood sample. Of course in this video she cautions that live blood morphology is really only an educational tool in the U.S. it's still an interesting one.

(The nurse in this video is pretty cute, too.)

Sensitivity (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 2 years ago | (#42140097)

If the test is too sensitive, then it will likely find that everybody has multiple cancers right from -8 months.

It may not help (3, Informative)

sirwired (27582) | about 2 years ago | (#42140105)

Some screening tests for cancer byproducts already exist, like the PSA test for prostate cancer. Other early-detection tests abound, such as Mammograms and Colonoscopies. While some of the screening tests, such as the Pap Smear, have shown to dramatically reduce cancer deaths, others, such as the PSA and Mammogram have detected a lot of cancers, but done absolutely bupkis to reduce death rates when given to populations not otherwise at high risk. Colonoscopies work, but are extremely expensive vs. the benefit they provide. (As in, it'd be a lot more efficient to spend healthcare dollars elsewhere, and there are other screening tests nearly as effective that are much cheaper.) Apparently they don't do a good job detecting aggressive cancers in those populations early enough to make a difference. With how fast some aggressive cancers work, the tests might have to be administered several times a year (at the cost of countless billions) to make any difference.

In addition, the PSA and Mammogram HAVE caused billions to be spent on procedures with quite severe side effects to further diagnose, and treat, problems that almost certainly would not have killed their "victims." Most Prostate tumors grow slowly enough that you could leave it alone for the rest of your life, and die of something else instead; meanwhile, prostate cancer treatment almost always causes problems with incontinence and impotence; two major quality of life issues. Most "breast cancers" detected by mammograms are Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, another type of cancer that is unlikely to kill you any time soon.

We need to think VERY carefully before rolling out any MORE widespread cancer screening tests, since many of the ones we have now simply don't work.

Re:It may not help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42146237)

I get a very unreliable blood test for cancer every other week. In a person who is not known to have cancer, the test is far too unreliable to have much value. In a person, like me, who is known to have cancer (of a certain type), deltas are assumed to be caused by the cancer's activity. This assumption is most certainly not correct all the time, but it is correct enough of the time for the test to have quite a bit of value in this already known cancer population. If this new test ends up being useful in this way, it can still have great value, and help to extend lives.

Overhyped Slashdot summary yet again (1)

Master Of Ninja (521917) | about 2 years ago | (#42140319)

Medical screening is a tricky subject - see the wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] for a better overview of it all. However tests aren't 100% foolproof, and if you look up terms such as sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, false positive etc. on wikipedia it will give you a general indication of how these tests really work. I do not believe that you can have a test that screens for all cancer that is useful. Or if I put it this way when will it pick up cancer? Can it pick up ALL cancers early enough that you can do something about it? Will there then be false positives (worrying patients, giving them unnecessary treatment with the associated side effects), or false negatives (i.e. people not picked up)? Or are they making a test that picks up all cancers when they have metastasised (i.e. spread to the other parts of the body) when people cannot be treated? The last example is not the useful one. It is useful to see the principles of screening on the first section of the wikipedia article. It will give people a general background on tests and why they may or may not pick up things. Medicine (and the human body) is somewhat of an inexact science so some cancers may not be picked up until they are untreatable, and patients may not understand why they personally have fallen through the net. The article seems to acknowledge that this is still a research idea - the important bits are that they screened 'advanced' cancers, some of the statistics, and the cost. I do support researchers as I know that advances can take a long time to prove and filter through from research into something that is useful.

Re:Overhyped Slashdot summary yet again (2)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#42140425)

A good screening test is cheap, minimally invasive, and very, very sensitive. It does not matter if you get false positives, because you will never act on just the result of a screening test alone. You want a test that absolutely does not, however, give you false negatives. That way you reduce the whole population to the sick, and the falso positives. This new population is then re-screened with highly specific, expensive diagnostic tests that determine if the person does or does not have the disease in question.

Ideally you'd be able to screen the whole population with tests that never fail and never give false positives, but in reality this is not affordable, you would end up with waiting lists and budget problems, and people would die waiting for the test. So you pick a test that is sensitive enough to give false positives and you weed them out, being left with only the real positives. It's kind of like the way the TSA works, only backwards (they are so insensitive all they get is false positives, while people with shoe bombs, knives, etc, are allowed to board safely).

NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42140447)

When it's in your blood, it's already in metastasis and it's too late.

Here's Some Cancer Reality: (2)

fullback (968784) | about 2 years ago | (#42140449)

No one is "winning" the battle against cancer in general.

The cancer rate is increasing, not decreasing, despite all of the money spent and gone over the past 50 years.

Were killing ourselves by consumption and exposure to unnatural and unnecessary chemicals produced by a highly profitable chemical cartel.

Look, even the mammogram industry (doctors, hospitals and manufacturers) has programed the public with the myth that mammograms saves lives.

After ten years of study, it's been shown to not be true.

More people are diagnosed, but no more people die.

Mammograms are painful and a waste of time and money in many cases, but the almighty dollar is mightier than the truth.

And breast cancer rates keep going up, no matter how many ribbons people wear and money they give.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42140859)

The cancer rate is increasing because of three major trends: improved diagnostics. improved treatments and longer life spans in general (you have to die of something). As numerous posters have pointed out, uncontrolled cell division - AKA cancer - is a common occurrence in the human body. So, roughly 100% of people would screen positive for cancer if we had a sensitive enough test and we tested enough people enough times.

We are also getting better at treating many, but certainly not all cancers. So you expect both the rate diagnoses and number of cancer patients in total to increase. Without any additional causal factors. Now, it's likely that some chemicals in the environment ARE causing 'additional' cancers and we should continue to look for and mitigate them - not doing that is kinda stupid.

But let's not get all wound up about modern life. In aggregate, people are living longer (and better). We are spending way to much, the cost structure appears not to be sustainable (at least in the US). We have to deal with lots of arguments about how to deliver medical care on a rational basis. And, as I pointed out, we should work on cleaning up our act - both for ourselves and the rest of the planet. But think through the reasons. And don't feel bad about not buying the little pink ribbons.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42142659)

Indeed, I think that much of the reason cancer is killing more people than ever is that people aren't dying of other things as much. Eventually, cancer wins. Biological cells like to replicate, that is their purpose. The fact that multi-celled organisms managed to suppress that base impulse in their cells is impressive, but know that it is a suppressed urge not a removed one. Eventually, the suppression mechanism in one of your billions of cells will break and that cell will begin to replicate itself as best it can, it is the base instinct of all cells.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (3, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 2 years ago | (#42141287)

Yerba mate, green tea, and black tea are all highly anti-cancer. Mate is actually awesome for this; steamed green tea is pretty close; black tea less so, but it has its own strengths over the others. It's worth having a pot of Earl Grey or Irish Breakfast Tea in the morning, and a pot of green tea (gunpowder, any of the various $15-$200 Sencha greens, etc) in the afternoon.

Meanwhile people cry about HFCS, which is an abomination but relatively harmless; look at all the wheat we eat, and our response is to eat whole grains because they're less bad. People figure this out and go Atkins, instead of just eating less than 3000 calories from wheat every day. Over-salted, fumigated crap gets pureed, strained, cooked, then mixed with benzoates and sorbates and parabeens for us to eat or rub onto our skin. All that's bad, but removing it all won't really help if you keep eating crap--like tons of wheat, tons of rice, tons of greasy fatty shit, all things that are good for you but not so god damn much with so little else--and keep sitting on your ass all the time.

Those toxic chemicals will go away if you bike to work every day. Live 5 miles from work? That's 10 miles a day. Suck down potassium and magnesium and sodium out of a CamelBak, chomping on Clif bars if you need it, and shove a greasy full English down your throat in the morning cooked in a ton of lard. Hell, use the canned sorbated bullshit, your body will just shove it out your lymph system while you burn through all that crap.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

Raenex (947668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201273)

Meanwhile people cry about HFCS, which is an abomination but relatively harmless

No, it isn't. The high consumption of HFCS and ordinary table sugar are likely a primary component of the high rise in rates of diabetes and obesity, along with associated diseases of the heart and clogged arteries: Is Sugar Toxic? [nytimes.com]

Those toxic chemicals will go away if you bike to work every day.

Uh huh. Or if you drink a lot of water, you'll piss them all out. Please stop with the homegrown health science.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42202989)

If you consume, say, Botulinum, or a small amount of heavy metal (lead, mercury), and you're highly active, some of that will leave your system--if the dose is low enough to not kill you immediately. If you consume HFCS and you're highly active, you'll burn it off as energy. It's relatively harmless. Parabens and sorbates and all the other preservatives and extenders and weird salts and crap aren't that harmful, and they're metabolized away more quickly when your metabolism is higher.

Fat-soluble toxins get moved into the blood stream when consolidated fats are mobilized for energy, a cycle that occurs under extended periods of elevated metabolism (i.e. you start burning fat--you might burn and store at relative equillibrium, but you WILL burn some of your stored fat if you're on a bicycle for an hour). They get re-absorbed, but part of those toxins gets excreted in sweat or picked up by the kidneys and excreted by urine. Simply drinking enough water to piss out the salts won't get rid of those; that actually works on non-fat-soluble toxins, of course, since those just float around in the blood. Such toxins typically do not bioaccumulate anyway, so if they don't kill you they're harmless--even if you don't drink excess water, they'll be gone in a day or so; you can scarcely speed this up by chugging, although it does move things along a little.

Sitting on your ass is a primary component of the high rate of diabeetus in this country. Wake up, brush teeth, sit down, consume breakfast. Walk outside, open car door, sit down. Walk a few dozen feet, enter work building, walk a few more feet, enter elevator, stand. Arrive at top floor, walk about 100 feet to your desk, sit. Eight hours later, walk a few feet, ride the elevator down, get in the car, sit. Get out of car, walk a dozen feet or so to the house, sit. Watch TV. Walk a couple dozen feet, shower. Walk a few more feet. Sleep.

Congratulations! You've met your daily exercise quota of walking 1/10 of 1 mile today! Make sure you eat a big bowl of pasta and a massive serving of fatty meat, and finish it off with some sugary donuts, so that you get the 5000 calories you need to upkeep your body under such strenuous exercise!

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

Raenex (947668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204855)

If you consume HFCS and you're highly active, you'll burn it off as energy.

It has to be metabolized first, and it's the by-products of metabolism that are the problem.

Fat-soluble toxins get moved into the blood stream when consolidated fats are mobilized for energy, a cycle that occurs under extended periods of elevated metabolism (i.e. you start burning fat--you might burn and store at relative equillibrium, but you WILL burn some of your stored fat if you're on a bicycle for an hour).

Even if this is true, which I'd need to see the specific metabolic mechanism to verify, the idea that you can just eat a bunch of crap and burn it off with biking an hour to work a day is a dangerous and simplistic idea. You can't see inside your arteries to know that you are doing enough: "During the Korean War, pathologists doing autopsies on American soldiers killed in battle noticed that many had significant plaques in their arteries, even those who were still teenagers, while the Koreans killed in battle did not."

It's much better not to eat the crap in the first place. Compare eating an orange, to drinking a cup of orange juice, to drinking a sugared drink. Go with the orange, and you'd have more nutrients and fiber, with fewer calories and sugar. Same thing with whole grains, vegetables, and other wholesome food. Less crap = less calories and dangerous sugars.

Sure, get some exercise too, but don't depend on it for overcoming a poor diet.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42205797)

It has to be metabolized first, and it's the by-products of metabolism that are the problem.

While fructose absorption and modification by the intestines and liver does differ from glucose initially, the majority of the fructose molecules are converted to glucose or metabolized into byproducts identical to those produced by glucose metabolism. Consumption of moderate amounts of fructose has also been linked to positive outcomes, including reducing appetite if consumed before a meal, lower blood sugar increases compared to glucose, and (again compared to glucose) delaying exhaustion if consumed during exercise.

Fructose from HFCS is supplied intentionally in Gatorade; from Dextrose in powdered Gatorade. It's done that way because Fructose is important for this particular use--consumption of Fructose improves performance during strenuous physical activity. The byproducts of Fructose metabolism are, unsurprisingly, carbon dioxide and water. This is because Fructose is metabolized by enzymatic conversion into Glycogen, which involves weakening the molecule--it's susceptible to similar molecular forces as Glucose, although it has its own resistances thanks to a different (pentagonal) molecular structure and thus facilities specifically for Fructose exist--and reacting it with other chemicals.

Molecular weakening is what occurs with catalysts and enzymes, applying physical pressure to a molecular structure by effectively stretching it, lowering the activation energy needed to induce a reaction; enzymes rely on physical molecular shape, while catalysts rely on any range of things--including susceptibility to things like pH (acid/alkali can support a reaction, for example acid lowers the temperature required to invert sucrose). Remember that pH is effectively a matter of charge--a low pH solution has lots of H+ ions, while a high pH indicates lots of OH- ions, and so charge interactions will occur.

Fat-soluble toxins get moved into the blood stream when consolidated fats are mobilized for energy, a cycle that occurs under extended periods of elevated metabolism (i.e. you start burning fat--you might burn and store at relative equillibrium, but you WILL burn some of your stored fat if you're on a bicycle for an hour).

Even if this is true, which I'd need to see the specific metabolic mechanism to verify, the idea that you can just eat a bunch of crap and burn it off with biking an hour to work a day is a dangerous and simplistic idea.

The mechanism exists; as I said, re-absorption is typical. Consider that Mercury is stored in fat--this is true and verifiable. Fat includes... well, your brain, unfortunately. Padding for other nerve tissue as well. It also includes consolidated fat. If your consolidated fat (beer gut) passes mercury compounds or ions into your body, they float around and wind up elsewhere--let's face it, mercury stored in your big fat ass is relatively harmless; your CNS is where you don't want it, and unfortunately it gets there eventually.

When you start tapping your stored resources, stuff comes out of those fat cells (it's storage, it's there for a reason--what is storage without retrieval?). Mercury migrates out with all the other stuff that's SUPPOSED to come out. If you're highly active at the moment, part of that mercury will be removed the same way as everything else--through the lymph system or kidneys. This is simply because your renal systems are running harder at the moment, and they remove oxides of mercury (but not elemental metal). Of course, that means that the mercury has to be oxidized, then excreted; much of it is re-absorbed into fat.

At a level of poisoning, this doesn't help, since it's going to speed up migration into the CNS as fast as it speeds up excretion if not faster. At a level below poisoning, there is no immediate concern, and thus this simply speeds up removal. With faster removal, less total bioaccumulation occurs, so slightly elevated levels of mercury are less of a problem. This holds true for lead, aspartame, botox, and anything else poisonous--there's always a small amount that is easily tolerated and is removed eventually, and speeding up that process simply means you can handle that much more. It may be on the order of micrograms, but it still helps--consider the average human diet includes above 30 micrograms of lead per day, whereas if you drank from lead crystal glass you may take in double that per day, and you might understand just how speeding up the process a little helps. 60 micrograms is still below acute toxicity, but pumping that shit out of your body isn't a bad idea.

Essentially, you're just stirring things up to keep shit moving.

It's much better not to eat the crap in the first place. Compare eating an orange, to drinking a cup of orange juice, to drinking a sugared drink. Go with the orange, and you'd have more nutrients and fiber, with fewer calories and sugar. Same thing with whole grains, vegetables, and other wholesome food. Less crap = less calories and dangerous sugars.

Sure, get some exercise too, but don't depend on it for overcoming a poor diet.

Yes and the difference is quite frankly huge if you're riding the Wal-Mart fat scooter everywhere compared to if you start every day with a half-hour jog. It may still be bad, but it's less bad... a LOT less bad. Try driving a car that's been in your garage for 20 years, versus one that's been driven 100 miles a month. Same shit happens to your body in spades, because at least the car doesn't keep eating and pushing crap through its fuel system and at least the car doesn't get physically weaker from sitting around--it just suffers from settling (build-up of mechanical stresses) and crap build-up. The engine's still a 400HP engine; your big muscles become flabby, your heart becomes weak, your blood vessels close down because they take energy to maintain and there's not enough demand to need them so your body cuts back. Your body starts storing all the crap you give it, instead of chewing through what it needs and excreting the shit it doesn't.

Scientists know already that your whole body is healthier when you keep active. It's a combination of everything. It's not a miracle, and it does work both ways. Every "healthy diet" out there leaves people weak and sickly. Their bones get weak, their arteries clog, even vegetarians and atkins fools. It doesn't work if you don't work for it.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

Raenex (947668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42208205)

The byproducts of Fructose metabolism are, unsurprisingly, carbon dioxide and water.

You missed the intermediary stages: Fructose consumption as a risk factor for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. [nih.gov]

there's always a small amount that is easily tolerated and is removed eventually, and speeding up that process simply means you can handle that much more.

Even if true, your advice was patently dangerous: "Those toxic chemicals will go away if you bike to work every day."

Don't eat like crap and expect a daily bike ride to take care of all associated problems. Exercise, skip all the added sugar, and eat wholesome food. That's the best bet if you are concerned about living long and healthy.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42209175)

Good resource.

Even if true, your advice was patently dangerous: "Those toxic chemicals will go away if you bike to work every day."

Don't eat like crap and expect a daily bike ride to take care of all associated problems. Exercise, skip all the added sugar, and eat wholesome food. That's the best bet if you are concerned about living long and healthy.

The impact of a moderate but reasonable amount of physical activity is bigger than the impact of cutting 40 ounces per day of Dr. Pepper out of your diet. The impact of high-intensity exercise--jogging, bicycling, whatnot--for half an hour a day will completely eliminate the impacts of 40 ounces per day of Dr. Pepper. Food in general contains generally recognized as safe levels of anything it does contain, including preservatives that by nature are toxic to cellular activity--those toxins are diluted when consumed, after all.

If you cut all that crap out, great, you'll be healthier; you'll still be a sickly little lump of shit, falling apart before you're even 50, with just about no physical activity. If you keep all that crap but stay reasonably active, you'll be a LOT healthier--these are people who one day get sick, become bedridden, then die a couple weeks later. So many people these days become sick over decades, culminating in a couple years or more where they're barely functional because their bodies are falling apart--people who eat healthy, who consume real fruit and whole wheat and avoid all that added sugar and evil carbonated water. The only way to eliminate that is physical activity; the impact is large.

People focus too much on diet. Diet is lazy, it's people thinking if they don't do something--don't eat certain foods, eat other foods instead--that it'll cure their ails. That's work insomuch as quitting smoking is work--an addiction to sugary, greasy foods, but not much else to talk about. People think a gastric bypass makes them healthy; it just makes them thinner.

This is coming from someone who took up bicycling to work because it took 45 minutes and a car commute took 42 minutes. An hour and a half a day, quite a lot. My food intake increased. In the morning I started eating bacon, eggs, baked beans, mushrooms (shiitake and portabello), baked beans, toast, biscuits, bludwurst, a half a tomato, all fried in a mix of butter and lard. I ate donuts when I felt like it too. Came home and ate a whole cornish hen stuffed with an entire box of stovetop stuffing...well, no, that took me 2 days to eat, so I ate half of that. Oh, with some spinach sauteed in butter (surprisingly good, and I hate vegetables--green ones, at least; there's so much else out there... red japanese sweet potatoes for example).

I lost about 10 pounds, started building muscle and losing consolidated fat. My fat stores migrated into the muscle cells themselves for quicker access. I stopped losing so much body temperature in the cold (I'd wear 2 coats and read a core temperature below 94F in the winter, which is below hypothermic). Even with an increased intake of loads of crap, I became a lot healthier. It was easier to wake up in the morning, easier to sleep, easier to stay awake--I felt like I had energy all the time. More focus, easier to think, better reflexes, everything. The machine was actually working.

This is, surprisingly, normal. Sedentary lifestyle is a bane. Nasty toxic food isn't good for you, but living on the couch is just a slow death and no magic diet is going to make you healthy that way. It's like eating whole wheat: you're not eliminating the bad stuff so much as you're taking in less bad.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

Raenex (947668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42210501)

The impact of a moderate but reasonable amount of physical activity is bigger than the impact of cutting 40 ounces per day of Dr. Pepper out of your diet. The impact of high-intensity exercise--jogging, bicycling, whatnot--for half an hour a day will completely eliminate the impacts of 40 ounces per day of Dr. Pepper.

That's a quantitative statement without any references as to how you come to your conclusion. Yes, I get it, exercise is beneficial. Now how much?

Food in general contains generally recognized as safe levels of anything it does contain, including preservatives that by nature are toxic to cellular activity--those toxins are diluted when consumed, after all.

GRAS is a weak standard. Even salt is GRAS, and it is linked to high blood pressure. The FDA is not going to regulate a common food like sugar even if over-consumption leads to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The bottom line is that you are ignoring demonstrated dangers with diet and latching on to exercise as the main thing to worry about. Exercise is important, but so is diet. You can't eat a bunch of extra sugar, especially at the amounts Americans do, without consequences.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214431)

You can't eat a bunch of extra sugar, especially at the amounts Americans do, without consequences.

1) I can and have.

2) You can't lead a highly sedentary lifestyle without consequence. No diet will make you healthy. Contrastingly, you can be healthy with a fairly imperfect diet if you're active. Evolutionarily, we didn't have perfect diets harmonized in a medical clean room to evolve from; we ate whatever crap we could get, high amounts of fruit sugar, tons of meat, whatever, and we were healthy. Problem is we had to climb trees (Persimmon trees are 35ft tall! Apple trees aren't little shrubs! Berries are often close to the ground but a lot of food is up high) and chase after food that actively ran the fuck away.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

Raenex (947668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214647)

1) I can and have.

And you know this how? How old are you, and how long have you been eating a bunch of extra sugar, and how much? I got away with eating terribly and little exercise all through my 20s. It eventually caught up with me. You can't see inside your arteries, or check your liver for fatty deposits, or know how well your pancreas is doing, or any number of things that might be going wrong. You just assume that because you feel fine now you aren't doing long-term damage.

Do you think those kids they opened up in World War II that showed the seeds of cardiovascular disease weren't getting exercise?

2) You can't lead a highly sedentary lifestyle without consequence. No diet will make you healthy.

There are plenty of healthy people that don't exercise. Exercise has its benefits, but you're not going to automatically be some sick zombie because you don't exercise. Also, exercise won't replace the lack of fiber or nutrients in a poor diet. There are many digestive disorders associated with Western diets.

Evolutionarily, we didn't have perfect diets harmonized in a medical clean room to evolve from; we ate whatever crap we could get, high amounts of fruit sugar, tons of meat, whatever, and we were healthy.

Funny, I don't think there were any soda trees around in prehistoric times. The modern diet of low-fiber, refined food with added sugar is nothing like the diets that we evolved on. Having fruit as part of a varied diet is not the same thing as chugging down multiple sodas a day.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214957)

Funny, I don't think there were any soda trees around in prehistoric times. The modern diet of low-fiber, refined food with added sugar is nothing like the diets that we evolved on. Having fruit as part of a varied diet is not the same thing as chugging down multiple sodas a day.

Everything was low-fat, low-sugar, with no massive starch sources like pertaters?

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

Raenex (947668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215819)

Everything was low-fat, low-sugar, with no massive starch sources like pertaters?

I haven't said a word about fat, or even starch for that matter. I'm talking about all the added sugars, refined foods, and lack of fiber and nutrients that you find in a modern, Western diet. Humans evolved as hunter-gatherers, and soda didn't grow on trees. Trying to favorably compare the modern crap diet to the diets that humans were evolved to eat is absurd.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216183)

Potatoes are effectively identical to refined sugar and white wheat grain. You actually have to refine them to make them healthy--you need to cook, then freeze, then reheat them to raise the resistant starch levels above 4% (you can get 23%-35% easy enough, 23% being the realistic number and 35% being reachable but not by intent). RS is essentially identical to non-soluble dietary fiber in its function. All other mass in the potato that's not in the skin is white, refined sugar; don't tell me it's different "because it's starch," because YOUR FUCKING SALIVA turns it into individual glucose molecules.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

Raenex (947668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42220255)

All other mass in the potato that's not in the skin is white, refined sugar; don't tell me it's different "because it's starch," because YOUR FUCKING SALIVA turns it into individual glucose molecules.

You seem to have missed the glucose vs. fructose issue. Glucose isn't the culprit. Fructose is. Also, potatoes provide fiber, nutrients, and help fill you up unlike carbonated sugar water.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42241149)

Potatoes provide no nutrients except in the skin. Fructose is harmless in the presence of glucose--sucrose is metabolized essentially identical to glucose, and the HFCS in soda is 55/45 rather than the 85/15 mostly-fructose stuff. Uptake of fructose is reduced outside the presence of glucose, and then the liver process it differently without glucose (and inefficiently).

Essentially, potatoes are worse than soda. Hostess Cupcakes provide more nutrition than mashed potato.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

Raenex (947668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42242811)

Potatoes provide no nutrients except in the skin. [..] Essentially, potatoes are worse than soda. Hostess Cupcakes provide more nutrition than mashed potato.

You keep on spouting uninformed bullshit. It's tiresome, and I'm going to have to stop responding to you if you keep it up. You can't expect to be taken seriously when you get basic shit wrong that can easily be looked up while trying to act like an expert.

Nutritional value for:
- boiled, skinless potatoes [about.com]
- Hostess Cupcakes [about.com]
- Dr. Pepper [about.com]

Pay attention to the grams of sugar, fiber, and what nutrients each food is high in.

Fructose is harmless in the presence of glucose--sucrose is metabolized essentially identical to glucose

OK, cite a reference. You won't be able to, because you're making shit up again. Sucrose is broken down into fructose and glucose, so now we're back to talking about the difference between fructose and glucose.

Uptake of fructose is reduced outside the presence of glucose, and then the liver process it differently without glucose (and inefficiently).

Again, cite a reference. You have zero credibility.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42243447)

Your reference for potatoes shows a pretty high number for "dietary fiber"--resistant starch is effectively dietary fiber, but it's present between 4% and 23% in potatoes, and the 23% number is reachable by boiling and then freezing and then re-heating--and then vitamin C (in damn near everything), a little protein, and a small amount of iron and calcium.

And here I assumed Hostess cupcakes were made out of wheat... they're about on par, with more fat, less carbs, and half the calories, about equal nutritionally and less bad for you than a potato. The Dr. P. still has less sugar.

Can try This [nih.gov] ([24]), useful information summarized on Wikipedia, to cover increased uptake with glucose:

Studies show the greatest absorption rate occurs when glucose and fructose are administered in equal quantities.[24] When fructose is ingested as part of the disaccharide sucrose, absorption capacity is much higher because fructose exists in a 1:1 ratio with glucose. It appears that the GLUT5 transfer rate may be saturated at low levels, and absorption is increased through joint absorption with glucose.[25].

According to USDA, fruits and vegetables tend to contain as much or more fructose than glucose; thus an argument that humans are not supposed to consume fructose (or sucrose) is essentially an argument for a primarily carnivore diet. However, the GLUT5 transporter carries fructose primarily, and the GLUT2 carries both glucose and fructose, so it seems unlikely that human diet ever really excluded fructose much. Honestly humans will eat fruit and vegetables--it doesn't run away.

Fructose metabolism is affected by insulin, but fructose consumption doesn't cause an insulin reaction. Glucose consumption does. Consuming fructose with glucose changes (improves) the metabolism. This is sensible, evolutionarily, because fructose is supposed to be present with glucose; apples have twice as much (67% fructose to 33% glucose), but most everything else is 1:1 or 1:3 or 0.9:1 or so. Not so much an advantage that should have developed, but rather just not a detriment and so the discovery that fructose is easier to absorb and process in the presence of glucose isn't inherently offensive to the senses, since it just wouldn't present a problem usually unless 80% of your diet is apples.

In any case, 85% fructose HFCS isn't natural or easy on the system. 55% is less offensive. A 50-50 mix is better. Agave nectar is psychotic. Sucrose is odd because it's actually absorbed directly into the blood stream and goes to the pancreas (unless inverted by acid and heat), whereas starch is broken down by enzymes in saliva and stomach.

By the by, glucose is poisonous. You don't want to dump that much straight sugar into your blood stream; fructose going to the liver is probably a good buffer technique. That is, however, conjecture more intended to stimulate thought.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

Raenex (947668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42246999)

Your reference for potatoes shows a pretty high number for "dietary fiber"--resistant starch is effectively dietary fiber, but it's present between 4% and 23% in potatoes, and the 23% number is reachable by boiling and then freezing and then re-heating--and then vitamin C (in damn near everything), a little protein, and a small amount of iron and calcium.

All that and you skipped the potassium, something potatoes are well-known for, plus the B6, as well as a host of other vitamins and minerals that aren't listed in the other two foods mentioned. And that's only without the skin; keep in mind we started talking about the potato as an offshoot of foods we evolved on. My guess is that they ate their potatoes baked, with the skin. And as hunter-gatherers and not farmers, they ate a variety of foods, not just potatoes, and almost certainly not boiled, mashed potatoes without skin.

And here I assumed Hostess cupcakes were made out of wheat...

The first ingredient is sugar, not surprisingly. The wheat flour used is, of course, the refined flour that's been robbed of most of the fiber and vitamins and minerals.

they're about on par, with more fat, less carbs, and half the calories, about equal nutritionally and less bad for you than a potato.

Ridiculous. The fat is 2.5/6.0 grams of saturated fat, and one of the ingredients is partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, considered harmful to your health. About the only positive thing to be said about them is the calcium it provides. You also aren't taking into account meal portions. The serving size for the potatoes is for a large potato at 300g, while the cupcake is a single cake at 50g.

The Dr. P. still has less sugar.

For the soda, the serving size was 8oz. A common bottle size is 20oz, and you started out talking about drinking 40oz a day, which would be two bottles at 20oz. It's just about pure sugar in calories, with no other nutrients or fiber.

So please cut the shit talking about soda is better for you than a potato. If you want to spout and defend bullshit, I'm not going to respond any more.

According to USDA, fruits and vegetables tend to contain as much or more fructose than glucose; thus an argument that humans are not supposed to consume fructose (or sucrose) is essentially an argument for a primarily carnivore diet.

Again, you are missing the fiber and all the nutrients that go with fruits and vegetables. Humans evolved to eat a variety of wholesome foods, including meat and fish, and not concentrated sugar like cupcakes and sugar water.

I'll respond to the glucose+fructose metabolism later, since you actually cited a reference and I will have to research.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42249752)

Potassium and other vitamins are in potato skin. You cited boiled potato without skin--and the link you gave didn't list potassium or B6. Most people eat baked potato out of the skin and throw the skin away, or they eat mashed potatoes.

Stop floating your arguments around.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

Raenex (947668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42249898)

Potassium and other vitamins are in potato skin.

It's also in the flesh without the skin.

You cited boiled potato without skin--and the link you gave didn't list potassium or B6.

Under "Good Points", it says:
"High in potassium
  High in vitamin B6
  High in vitamin C"

It also lists the breakdown if you click "See more extended nutritional details". Alternatively, you can check out these links, which also list the breakdown as a percent daily value:

Boiled, without skin [self.com]

Baked, with skin [self.com]

Stop floating your arguments around.

On the contrary, you are the one doing that. I mentioned the skin for completeness, as potatoes came up under the discussion of what foods we evolved on. But even ignoring the skin, your argument has been shown to be ridiculous with regards to cupcakes, or even dumber, soda. Can you admit you were wrong?

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (1)

Raenex (947668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42247189)

Just one more quick note: another category of healthy foods people eat are nuts, which are high in good fat, have fiber, vitamins and minerals, and protein. The idea that the modern diet chock full of added sugars was anything remotely what we evolved to eat is absurd.

Re:Here's Some Cancer Reality: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42141343)

I'm going to take issue with your comments right there. You may mean well, but you are spouting pure evil. Breast cancer is one of the deadliest cancers there is and catching it early means a very large increase in survival rates, as in 80% survival vs 5%. What you say is true for other types of cancer, such as prostate, but not breast cancer.

Why have you heard this about breast cancer so much? Because it mostly affects the elderly and is expensive to treat. That means Medicare pays for expensive treatments and its cheaper for them to treat stage 4 with chemo instead of stage 0-3 with surgery and radiation. In addtion they recently had the FDA remove the most expensive chemo drugs for breast cancer as well claiming it doesn't help, but I have met many who it has helped and even cured. They had to do this because evil private insurance was still paying for it and they couldn't have that happen when Medicare was going to refuse similar treatment, so because Medicare doesn't want to pay for it you are no longer allowed to yourself.

No the breast cancer propaganda you are repeating is a way for the goverment to take a big chunk of spending on breast cancer treatment by not letting patients get diagnosed until too late to treat and when they are within months of death. Its is pure evil through and through. Breast cancer is not the only cancer the government has been trying to reduce treatments to, they are also trying to remove the treatment I just received for my cancer as well. I even had mine fully paid by me and private insurance, but since its not fair for me to have that treatment and Medicare to not, they will have the FDA remove it for everyone.

Public helath care is a scam to take your money and reduce your options. If I were in the UK I would be dead as of now being on NHS.

moD Up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42140665)

use8s', BigAzz, = 36400 FreeBSD of FreeBSD Usenet it just 0wnz.',

Won't help for marrow based cancers.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42140955)

Regular CBCs will detect many irregularities, but not all. Most people don't do CBC checks regularly, even though they are fast and easy.

Good thing for the PPACA or this can be a ticket t (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#42141143)

Good thing for the PPACA or this can be a ticket to being blacked list for life in the USA.

Information goldmine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42142725)

People seem to be concentrating on the false-positive rate that this would cause, the more sensitive it gets, due to the bodies regular development of cancerous cells; but this instead has the potential to be a true goldmine of information, in using statistical studies to far more accurately determine what can increase your rate of cancer.

If you had a hyper-sensitive blood test, and you regularly measure the incidence of cancerous cells in the body, you can use that to make all sorts of highly accurate correlations as to what causes cancer, by matching up higher or lower than average instances of cancerous cells, to exposure to certain chemicals/drinks/foods etc..

simpler/cheaper methods already available... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42143605)

I was diagnosed with Barrett's Oesophagus a short while ago, and told the only method to monitor it's progression was with annual endoscopic surveillance. I did some research and found a paper that linked the percentage of Eosinophil cells (a subclass of white blood cell) with the stage of the condition, with statistical significance. And when the story of the pregnancy stick and the testicular cancer circulated a few weeks ago, a little more research revealed a similar study linking levels of hCG to the development of Adenocarcinoma (with the suspected link being an increase in vascularity), again with statistical significance.

So, now instead of waiting for an annual biopsy to tell me that it's too late (there's a 15% five year survival rate once detected), I can do a simple blood test (CBC with Diff) and pee on a stick once a month to monitor my own condition, and if things begin to change before the annual surveillance I can go to my GP/Specialist and present the evidence and ask them to investigate further.

No expensive procedures, no patents (see: breast cancer testing), no fuss, no muss

already being done - kind of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42148183)

They detect my bladder cancer (or temporary lack thereof after a resection) by FISH (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescence_in_situ_hybridization [wikipedia.org] ) performed on selected cells from a urine specimen. It shouldn't be much different doing it on cells from a blood sample...

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