New and non-invasive urine test could help detect womb cancer

Written on 02/15/2021
Ciarán Mather


A group of UK-based scientists recently unveiled a non-invasive urine test that can aid in the early detection of womb cancer.

Using research from a study conducted by Manchester University, the team has developed a new detection tool that examines urine or vaginal samples that can be collected by women in the privacy of their own home.

It reportedly has a 91.7 per cent chance of accuracy, while the number of women without womb cancer who tested negative with the new test reported to be 88.9 per cent.

Professor Emma Crosbie, who led the study, explained: 'Our results show that womb cancer cells can be detected in urine and vaginal samples using a microscope.'

'Women who test positive with this test could be referred for diagnostic investigations while women who test negative are safely reassured without the need for unpleasant, invasive, anxiety-provoking and expensive procedures.'

It is hoped that the new tests will help to do away with biopsies, a process which requires a narrow telescope called a hysteroscope to examine the inside of the uterus and remove cells.

The study claimed that nearly one third of women who undergo the procedure have the process repeated because of technical difficulties or intolerable pain.

Commenting on the findings, Manchester University has said that womb cancer is the sixth most common cancer in women, with an estimated 382,000 new diagnoses and 89,900 deaths from the disease in 2018 worldwide.

According to the Irish Cancer Society, around 460 women a year are diagnosed with womb cancer throughout the country.

Most womb cancers occur in women aged 50 to 64, with the most common type of womb cancer being endometrial cancer, which starts in the lining of the womb. 

The findings of the study have since been published in the journal Nature Communications.

Another cancer detection-related story about the breast cancer charity Coppafeel!'s latest cancer awareness videos can be found here. 

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