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a current affairs......cancer kits: the 10-minute

  1. 5,609 Posts.
    Did anyone see it? Looks like this diagnostic kit technology will be the way to go.

    Maybe ACA will do SLT Hep kits soon.

    Apparently they are interested in doing so.

    Here it is.

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    Cancer kits: the 10-minute test
    22 August 2003
    Reporter: Sonia Madigan

    The word cancer is enough to conjure up fear in most of us — it silently attacks its victims and by the time symptoms show, it's often too late. Now there's a new weapon in the fight against the disease, known as a Quic Screen test or kit. But as ACA reports, its ability to potentially make an early diagnosis has been met with a mixed response from the medical profession.

    Fifty-one-year-old Mike Beresford's father is battling prostate cancer. Given his family history, Mike admits he often worries he's also a possible candidate. So in an effort to eliminate some of that concern, Mike's decided to take a Quic Screen Rapid Diagnostic test — the prostate kit — which is designed to determine whether someone's in a high-risk bracket.

    "Yep, it's frightening, it is. I'm scared that this result could be what I don't want to hear," Mike says.

    According to Chris Thrower from the Bradley Group, which is importing and distributing the kits, the tests could save thousands of lives every year.

    "What we're talking about is nipping it in the bud or getting on it [cancer] very early for a far better outcome for that particular patient," he says. "That's the real advantage of early detection and early screening."

    Now available at doctor's surgeries, the rapid diagnostic kits can detect cancers of the stomach, pancreas, colon and prostate. They require three drops of blood, 10 minutes of your time and cost around $36.

    But not everyone's convinced. Dr Kerry Kirk from the Cancer Council of South Australia is hesitant about the tests because he fears a wrong result is likely to be more dangerous than not having a test at all.

    "We're very much in favour of testing to diagnose cancers early, but you know, let's do it sensibly, rationally and scientifically, using tests that are accurate and don't throw up false positives and don't have lots of false negatives," he says.

    Likewise, Dr Michael Geurin from the College of Pathologists says there's some concern that if the test goes wrong, people might mistakenly believe they're free of cancer when they're not and news of a positive result will leave some people unable to cope.

    "The scenario with positive results and the patient's response is a concern to almost everybody," he says. "Particularly in the medical industry, we are aware of various deaths that have occurred from suicides as a result of positive tests, which has been inappropriate."

    Dr Geurin advises patients to proceed with caution.

    "You need to be very cautious about having one of these types of tests," he says. "You need to ensure that you have the support services around you if the answer is either positive or negative."

    But Chris Thrower says if the problem exists, it exists.

    "It doesn't matter whether you want to turn a blind eye to it or whether you want to face it," he says. "Face the reality that the issue is there. The huge advantage that you have in front of you is you can now monitor it and get early treatment. Well, 90 percent of cancers don't need to be a life-threatening issue if it's tackled early enough."

    For Mike, his clear result means peace of mind.

    "I may never prove positive, I may be completely prostate-cancer-free all my life, but my dad isn't. That means I've got to expect to get it at some stage and if I'm not, great, I'd rather know."
 
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