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Cancer of the bowel is when cells in the bowel change and grow much faster then usual. It is a very serious illness, which often leads to death of the patient. If bowel cancer is found early, the growth is small and can be removed leaving the person healthy. When the growth becomes larger it starts to cause problems such as pain, change in normal bowel motion or blood in the stool and this is when the patients usually visits a doctor. At this point, the cancer has grown more dangerous and it is often not possible to cure the patient entirely.
My research aims to detect bowel cancer as early as possible, so patients can be treated and remain healthy. This can be achieved by looking at blood samples from patients in more detail. The changes in cells that lead to bowel cancer are sometimes seen by the human body, which makes antibodies against it. Antibodies are small particles in the blood which the human body normally makes to fight off bacteria or viruses. So by finding antibodies against cancer in blood we can detect cancer very early, before it grows large and becomes life threatening to the patient.
This project aims to develop a test which can be used for early detection of bowel cancer in patients. The changes in cells that lead to bowel cancer are identified by the human body, and the body in turn makes antibodies to fight against it.
The proposed test will be based on the unique antibody profile of bowel cancer patients. This study will evaluate the potential of the test to be used as a general screening tool and reduce the number of unnecessary colonoscopies
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