Early Cancer Detection: Tattoo Implant or Urine Tests

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Detecting cancer in incipient phase is very important, as the disease can be managed easier and with fewer complications, increasing survival rate. This week, there have been two studies published in medical journals that both show how we could find out if we have cancer or not. There is an implant in the making and the second method is through tests of urine.

A Medical Tattoo That Detects Cancer

The “biomedical tattoo” is an implant that was tested on lab animals and lasted for a year. It recognizes four common types of cancer – breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer. Lead author of the study, Martin Fussenegger, professor at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at ETH Zurich explains how the tattoo works:

“The biomedical tattoo detects all hypercalcemic cancers at a very early, asymptomatic stage. If blood calcium levels remain high over longer periods of time, the calcium sensor in the biomedical tattoo cells produces an enzyme, tyrosinase, which converts the amino acid into the black skin pigment, melanin.”

So, when the spot gets dark on the patient, they should get to see a doctor for an early detection.

Urine Testing Instead of Needles

In Japan, Engineering and IT conglomerate Hitachi has developed two years ago a basic tech to detect breast or colon cancer by testing urine samples. Now, they use “250 urine samples, to see if samples at room temperature are suitable for analysis,” said Chiharu Odaira, the Hitachi spokesman.

This new study will help a lot more people in detecting cancer from an early phase, says Chiharu Oda:

“If this method is put to practical use, it will be a lot easier for people to test for cancer, as there will be no need to go to a medical organization for a blood test.”

Children that are afraid of needles will also use this type of testing. The technology will be used starting with the 2020s, concludes Odaira.

Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.