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6 Health Tests that Could Save Your Life

Getting tested now might help you down the road. Ask your doctor about these examinations.

4) Early CDT-Lung Test

Lung cancer is the most deadly cancer in the world and has only a 16% survival rate at five years. This is primarily because 85% of cancers are diagnosed at a late stage of development, when treatment isn’t as impactful as it could be. That may change with a new blood test called EarlyCDT-Lung from Oncimmune that can aid in early detection.

The simple blood test works by measuring autoantibodies produced by the immune system in response to lung cancer proteins. “Autoantibodies can form as early as four years before you might see a tumor on a CT scan,” says Dan Calvo, the CEO of Oncimmune. Results are highly accurate with only a 7% rate of false positives. If autoantibodies are detected, doctors will then follow up with a CT scan every 6–12 months until a tumor is visible. “The goal is to catch tumors when they are pea size or smaller instead of golf ball or bigger,” Calvo says.

In theory, the autoantibody approach can be used for any solid-tumor cancer, and Oncimmune has plans to launch a similar test for liver cancer in the near future including one for breast cancer.

Who should get the test: High-risk patients (smokers, ex-smokers) between the ages of 40 and 75 should get the test every two years.

Cost: $475; covered by insurance companies and Medicare.

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