New quick, simple test may detect deadliest cancer, scientists discover

A NEW quick and easy test could pinpoint your risk of a deadly cancer, scientists have discovered.

Around 10,500 people in the UK are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year and signs of the disease can be difficult to spot.

The pancreas is located in your abdomen, behind your stomach. It helps your digestive system by producing hormones


The pancreas is located in your abdomen, behind your stomach. It helps your digestive system by producing hormonesPhoto credit: Getty

But researchers have now claimed that a simple stool sample could detect the cancer early – which could lead to immediate treatment.

The main symptoms of pancreatic cancer are back pain, indigestion, changes in bowel habits and abdominal pain.

However, symptoms do not always appear early in the disease and may not become apparent until later in the cancer.

About one in 20 people with the most common form of pancreatic cancer – ductal adenocarcinoma – survive five years or more.

Experts examined stool samples from 136 patients from two hospitals in Madrid and Barcelona, ​​Spain.

Of the 136 patients, 25 had early-stage cancer and 32 had advanced cancer, with 50 without cancer serving as controls, and 29 had chronic pancreatitis, in which inflammation permanently damaged the pancreas.

They suggested that detectable changes involving gut bugs could be a warning sign that a tumor is present.

Writing in the diary colonthe experts said they collected spit and stool samples from two groups of patients.

One group had pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma while the other was selected as control patients for comparison.

The saliva in both groups of patients showed a void with no visible signs of cancer.

But surprisingly, the stool samples showed a difference in the pattern of gut bacteria, fungi and other microbes.

They added that the samples could be relevant beyond their use in diagnosis and offer promising future targets for disease prevention and therapeutic intervention.

The Pancreatic Cancer Signs You Need to Know

Pancreatic Cancer UK recommends that anyone experiencing one or more of the most common symptoms for more than four weeks should contact their GP

The most common symptoms:

– back pain

– indigestion

– Change in bowel habits

– Stomach pain

– unexplained weight loss

Anyone with jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin) should go to the emergency room immediately.

Learn more at:

Using the samples, the experts were able to clearly identify the patients with pancreatic cancer.

They could see the cancer at any stage.

This suggests that microbiome signatures show that the cancer arises early and that stool sampling could detect this.

Stool samples to detect pancreatic cancer are also being tested in Japan, with researchers in Germany also validating the Spanish study.

dr Chris MacDonald, Head of Research at Pancreatic Cancer UK, said there was potential in this area of ​​research.

He said: “New, more accurate biomarkers for detecting pancreatic cancer are urgently needed and it is important that we leave no stone unturned.

“We know about the microbiome — the collection of fungi, bacteria, and viruses that live in our bodies or on our skin — and how it interacts with our immune system is an integral part of our health.

“But we’re only now scratching the surface of understanding how this symbiotic relationship works in both health and disease, which is why innovative early-stage research like this is so important.”

“Back pain, indigestion, weight loss, changes in stool are all common symptoms associated with pancreatic cancer and far less serious health conditions.”

He added that this is a key factor in why 80 percent of people with pancreatic cancer are currently diagnosed at an advanced stage.

“We urgently need an early detection tool that can help GPs diagnose thousands of people at an early symptomatic stage in time for life-saving treatment,” he said.

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