test to diagnose colon cancer
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close to developing a urine test for detecting colon cancer.
The colon is an important part of the digestive
system, and as such, it has a major role in helping the body absorb nutrients,
minerals, and water. The colon also helps rid the body of waste in the form of
stool. The colon makes up the majority of the large intestine, approximately six
feet in length. The last six inches or so of the large intestine are the rectum
and the anal canal.
Urine test could compliment or even reduce the need for colonoscopy, the
mainstay screening test used to diagnose the disease currently.
The study, conducted by Wei Jia and colleagues, analyses chemical differences in
the urine of humans with and without colon cancer.
The researchers point out that colonoscopy, which involves using a flexible,
lighted tube to see inside the colon, is the most effective tool for the early
screening of colon cancer.
However, the procedure is unpleasant, costly, and time-consuming.
A urine test could provide an alternative method, according to the scientists.
For the study, the team analysed urine samples from 123 people - 60 with colon
cancer and 63 without - for differences in its composition.
They identified 16 substances that appear in unusual amounts in colon cancer.
The changes include increased levels of tryptophan, one of the 22 amino acids
found in proteins.
The study team said results show the potential of using urine as a tool for
diagnosing colon cancer.
The study has appeared in
ACS’ Journal of
Proteome Research .
ANI / Times of India