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Urine test to find smokers prone to cancer
Tue, 21 Apr 2009 17:50:29 GMT
 
Scientists have developed a simple urine test which has shown promising results in detecting smokers at high risk for lung cancer.

Smokers account for 87 percent of patients suffering from lung cancer -- the leading cancer killer.

Smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or those with a positive family history of lung cancer are believed to be at a higher risk of developing the condition. There is however no accurate method for determining at-risk smokers.

According to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, the new urine-based screening predicts the smoker's risk of developing lung cancer.

A biologic marker known as 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol or NNAL, found in the urine sample of smokers can help calculate their possible risk for the condition.

Smokers with high contents of NNAL and cotinine (a measure of smoking levels) in their urine are reported to be 8.5 times more likely to develop lung cancer.

Scientists are optimistic that the new test will be made available in the near future, adding that the test can not only help physicians detect cancer in its early stages but also motivate smokers for quitting.

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Bihar Al Anvar, Vol.74, pgl282