A groundbreaking blood test was developed by scientists in the UK that can detect 90 percent of endometriosis cases. The test detects tiny DNA fragments in the blood to detect this gynecological problem, which will spare many from undergoing the traditional and often uncomfortable keyhole surgery in order to diagnose this condition.
This test takes an average of a couple of days to reveal results, which is much shorter than the average of seven and a half years after the first symptoms to diagnose it.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a terribly common illness that currently affects as many as 1.5 million women in the UK alone. It is a painful condition characterized by severe cramps as tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows on the outside of it. This tissue swells and bleeds each month during menstruation, but unlike normal uterine tissue that is able to leave the body through blood, it causes inflammation and a buildup of scar tissue.
This can lead to extremely uncomfortable pain and in many cases, infertility. It has often left women suffering in pain without any treatment for an average of seven and a half years before they’re finally diagnosed, until now.
How to Detect Endometriosis
The keyhole surgery that has been the only form of diagnosing this condition before this blood test is called a laparoscopy. A camera is inserted into the pelvic area to photograph and video-inspect the organs. A lot of people with this illness can be intimidated by this test because they’re already experiencing pain in their pelvic area, so the last thing they would want is an invasive procedural camera poking around in there.
Another consideration is the high cost of getting a laparoscopy, which a lot of women simply can’t afford. This is part of why so many cases of this disease go undiagnosed, so there is a huge need for a non-invasive and inexpensive diagnostic method for this illness.
The Blood Test
This new blood test, called the Mitomic Endometriosis Test (MET), was developed by the University of Oxford experts at MDNA Life Sciences. Based on a study published in Biomarkers of Medicine, the MET was found to correctly detect this illness in nine out of ten cases, even in the earlier stages of the illness. MDNA is now putting together a test kit to allow laboratories in the UK and worldwide to carry out the test.
According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, it is estimated that 10 percent of women in the U.S. suffer from this disease, although many remain undiagnosed. Hopefully, this test will bring answers to many suffering in silence.
MDNA Life Sciences has also developed a blood test to detect prostate cancer and is planning on releasing blood test kits to test for ovarian and pancreatic cancer in 2020. Additionally, they plan on releasing other blood tests for lung, stomach and liver cancers in the following year, 2021.