How a routine blood test may help screen for cancer

Screening is one of the best ways to detect cancer early, when it can most effectively be treated. Unfortunately, many people today are not being screened in line with clinical recommendations. In colorectal cancer, for example, the second leading cause of cancer death in the US, one in three adults are not getting the recommended screening23 despite current guidelines recommending that all adults 45 years of age and older get screened.

Blood tests are now in development to detect the smallest amounts of abnormal signals in the blood, which can signal that a person may have the very earliest signs of cancer. By being able to see the earliest presence of cancer from a routine blood draw, a person can find out whether they have cancer or not, with additional diagnostic testing.